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June 18, 2008
MANNHEIM, Germany; BERKELEY, Calif.; and KNOXVILLE, Tenn., June 18 -- With the publication of the latest edition of the TOP500 list of the world's most powerful supercomputers today, the global high performance computing community has officially entered a new realm -- a supercomputer with a peak performance of more than 1 petaflop/s (one quadrillion floating point operations per second).
The new No. 1 system, built by IBM for the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory and and named "Roadrunner," by LANL after the state bird of New Mexico achieved performance of 1.026 petaflop/s -- becoming the first supercomputer ever to reach this milestone. At the same time, Roadrunner is also one of the most energy efficient systems on the TOP500.
The 31st edition of the TOP500 list was released at the International Supercomputing Conference in Dresden, Germany. Since 1993, the list has been produced twice a year and is the most extensive survey of trends and changes in the global supercomputing arena.
"Over the past few months, there were a number of rumors going around about whether Roadrunner would be ready in time to make the list, as well as whether other high-profile systems would submit performance numbers," said Erich Strohmaier, a computer scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a founding editor of the TOP500 list. "So, as the reports came in during recent weeks, it's been both exciting and challenging to compile this edition."
The Roadrunner system is based on the IBM QS22 blades which are built with advanced versions of the processor in the Sony PlayStation 3, displaces the reigning IBM BlueGene/L system at DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Blue Gene/L, with a performance of 478.2 teraflop/s (trillions of floating point operations per second) is now ranked No. 2 after holding the top position since November 2004.
Rounding out the top five positions, all of which are in the U.S., are the new IBM BlueGene/P (450.3 teraflop/s) at DOE's Argonne National Laboratory, the new Sun SunBlade x6420 "Ranger" system (326 teraflop/s) at the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas – Austin, and the upgraded Cray XT4 "Jaguar" (205 teraflop/s) at DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Among all systems, Intel continues to power an increasing number, with Intel processors now found in 75 percent of the TOP500 supercomputers, up from 70.8 percent of the 30th list released last November.
Other highlights from the latest list include:
For the first time, the TOP500 list will also provide energy efficiency calculations for many of the computing systems and will continue tracking them in consistent manner.
Rounding out the Top 10 systems are:
The U.S. is clearly the leading consumer of HPC systems with 257 of the 500 systems. The European share (184 systems -- up from 149) is still rising and is again larger then the Asian share (48 -- down from 58 systems).
Dominant countries in Asia are Japan with 22 systems (up from 20), China with 12 systems (up from 10), India with 6 systems (down from 9), and Taiwan with 3 (down from 11).
In Europe, UK remains the No. 1 with 53 systems (48 six months ago). Germany improved but is still in the No. 2 spot with 46 systems (31 six months ago).
The TOP500 list is compiled by Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim, Germany; Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of NERSC/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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