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November 17, 2008
MANNHEIM, Germany, BERKELEY, Calif., and KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 14 -- The 32nd edition of the closely watched list of the world's TOP500 supercomputers has just been issued, with the 1.105 petaflop/s IBM supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratory holding on to the top spot it first achieved in June 2008.
The Los Alamos system, nicknamed Roadrunner, was slightly enhanced since June and narrowly fended off a challenge by the Cray XT5 supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory called Jaguar. The system, only the second to break the petaflop/s barrier, posted a top performance of 1.059 petaflop/s in running the Linpack benchmark application. One petaflop/s represents one quadrillion floating point operations per second.
Both of the systems are at national laboratories operated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Seven of the top 10 systems on the newest TOP500 list are located at DOE facilities. Nine of the top 10 supercomputers are located in the United States. The most powerful system outside the U.S. is the Chinese-built Dawning 5000A at the Shanghai Supercomputer Center. It is the largest system which can be operated with Windows HPC 2008 operating system.
The TOP500 list, which is issued twice a year, will again be the subject of a session at the SC08 conference being held Nov. 15-21 in Austin, Texas. Complete information about the TOP500 list can be found at top500.org.
Just as the performance levels have increased dramatically, so have the costs of running and cooling such large systems. To help assess the energy efficiency of supercomputers, the TOP500 list is now tracking actual power consumption of supercomputers in consistent fashion. Not only is it the most powerful supercomputer, but Roadrunner is also one of the most energy efficient systems on the TOP500. Roadrunner is based on the IBM QS22 blades which are built with advanced versions of the processor in the Sony PlayStation 3. These nodes are connected with a commodity InfiniBand network.
Here are some other highlights from the November 2008 list:
Highlights from the Rest of the Top 10:
General highlights from the Top 500 since the June 2008 edition:
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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