Cray Supers Grab Gold, Bronze in TOP500

By Michael Feldman

November 17, 2009

With all the talk this year about Intel’s Nehalem CPU, it was AMD’s Istanbul chip that helped vault Cray supercomputers to the number 1 and number 3 spots on the TOP500. After a thorough upgrade of ORNL’s “Jaguar” with AMD’s six-pack Opteron, the renovated Cray XT5 system managed a 1.75 petaflop Linpack score, which was more than enough to beat out last year’s number one supercomputer, the 1.04 petaflops IBM “Roadrunner” system at Los Alamos. The other Cray super in Tennessee, nicknamed “Kraken,” also got the Istanbul treatment over the last few months and managed the number 3 spot with 832 teraflops, barely edging out the 826 teraflops recorded by the IBM Blue/Gene P “JUGENE” at Juelich.

As it turns out, this is the first time in the TOP500’s 16-year history that Cray grabbed the number one spot on the list. And even though these Linpack rankings tend to be much ado about nothing, it was gratifying to see the iconic supercomputer company land atop the iconic supercomputer list.

We also saw some new blood in the top 10. The recently announced Tianhe-1 supercomputer installed at the National University of Defense Technology in China comes in at number 5 with 563.10 teraflops. That system is interesting in a number of ways. For one thing, it’s the FLOPiest supercomputer ever installed in China, and garnered the highest TOP500 ranking that the country has ever attained. It also happens to be built from a mix of Intel CPUs and AMD GPUs — an unusual team-up outside of the consumer space. Each of the 2,560 compute nodes sports two Xeon E5540s hooked to two ATI Radeon HD 4870s, representing over a petaflop of peak performance and about half of that in Linpack.

The other new entry at the top of the list is one from Oracle — oops, I mean Sun. The “Red Sky” supercomputer at Sandia National Laboratories is a Nehalem-InfiniBand vintage Sun Blade super that grabbed the number 10 spot. Its Linpack number was 423.90 teraflops.

Skipping to the end of the list, at number 500, we have an IBM BladeCenter PowerPC cluster that comes in at just a skosh above 20 teraflops. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s 3 teraflops more than the number 500 system 6 months ago.

If you’d like to see your machinery on the T0P500, but are on a budget, you might be able to manage 20 teraflops with dozen or so of the new Fermi GPU-equipped Tesla 20-series servers hooked up to some cheap x86 boxes. Of course, by the time the new Teslas hit the streets next May, it will almost be time for the June TOP500 list, which undoubtedly will raise the cost of admission once again.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

TACC Supercomputing Powers Climate Modeling for Fisheries

January 28, 2023

A tremendous portion of the world depends on the output of the oceans’ major fisheries, which have, in recent decades, found themselves under near-constant threat from mismanagement (e.g. overfishing). Climate change, Read more…

PFAS Regulations, 3M Exit to Impact Two-Phase Cooling in HPC

January 27, 2023

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known as “forever chemicals,” pose a number of health risks to humans, with more suspected but not yet confirmed – and, as a result, PFAS are coming under increasing regu Read more…

Sweden Plans Expansion for Nvidia-Powered Berzelius Supercomputer

January 26, 2023

The Atos-built, Nvidia SuperPod-based Berzelius supercomputer – housed in and operated by Sweden’s Linköping-based National Supercomputer Centre (NSC) – is already no slouch. But now, Nvidia and NSC have announced Read more…

Multiverse, Pasqal, and Crédit Agricole Tout Progress Using Quantum Computing in FS

January 26, 2023

Europe-based quantum computing pioneers Multiverse Computing and Pasqal, and global bank Crédit Agricole CIB today announced successful conclusion of a 1.5-year POC study “to evaluate the contribution of an algorithmi Read more…

Critics Don’t Want Politicians Deciding the Future of Semiconductors

January 26, 2023

The future of the semiconductor industry was partially being decided last week by a mix of politicians, policy hawks and chip industry executives jockeying for influence at the World Economic Forum. Intel CEO Pat Gels Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Shutterstock_1687123447

Numerix Scales HPC Workloads for Price and Risk Modeling Using AWS Batch

  • 180x improvement in analytics performance
  • Enhanced risk management
  • Decreased bottlenecks in analytics
  • Unlocked near-real-time analytics
  • Scaled financial analytics

Overview

Numerix, a financial technology company, needed to find a way to scale its high performance computing (HPC) solution as client portfolios ballooned in size. Read more…

Microsoft/NVIDIA Solution Channel

Shutterstock 1453953692

Microsoft and NVIDIA Experts Talk AI Infrastructure

As AI emerges as a crucial tool in so many sectors, it’s clear that the need for optimized AI infrastructure is growing. Going beyond just GPU-based clusters, cloud infrastructure that provides low-latency, high-bandwidth interconnects and high-performance storage can help organizations handle AI workloads more efficiently and produce faster results. Read more…

Riken Plans ‘Virtual Fugaku’ on AWS

January 26, 2023

The development of a national flagship supercomputer aimed at exascale computing continues to be a heated competition, especially in the United States, the European Union, China, and Japan. What is the value to be gained Read more…

PFAS Regulations, 3M Exit to Impact Two-Phase Cooling in HPC

January 27, 2023

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known as “forever chemicals,” pose a number of health risks to humans, with more suspected but not yet confirmed Read more…

Critics Don’t Want Politicians Deciding the Future of Semiconductors

January 26, 2023

The future of the semiconductor industry was partially being decided last week by a mix of politicians, policy hawks and chip industry executives jockeying for Read more…

Riken Plans ‘Virtual Fugaku’ on AWS

January 26, 2023

The development of a national flagship supercomputer aimed at exascale computing continues to be a heated competition, especially in the United States, the Euro Read more…

Shutterstock 1134313550

Semiconductor Companies Create Building Block for Chiplet Design

January 24, 2023

Intel's CEO Pat Gelsinger last week made a grand proclamation that chips will be for the next few decades what oil and gas was to the world over the last 50 years. While that remains to be seen, two technology associations are joining hands to develop building blocks to stabilize the development of future chip designs. The goal of the standard is to set the stage for a thriving marketplace that fuels... Read more…

Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1572060865

Fujitsu Study Says Quantum Decryption Threat Still Distant

January 23, 2023

Global computer and chip manufacturer Fujitsu today reported that a new study performed on its 39-qubit quantum simulator suggests it will remain difficult for Read more…

At ORNL, Jeff Smith Becomes Interim Director, as Search for Permanent Lab Chief Continues

January 20, 2023

UT-Battelle, which manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the U.S. Department of Energy, has appointed Jeff Smith as interim director for the lab as t Read more…

Top HPC Players Creating New Security Architecture Amid Neglect

January 20, 2023

Security of high-performance computers is being neglected in the pursuit of horsepower, and there are concerns that the ignorance may be costly if safeguards ar Read more…

Ohio Supercomputer Center Debuts ‘Ascend’ GPU Cluster

January 19, 2023

Less than 10 months after it was announced, the Columbus-based Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) has debuted its Dell-built GPU cluster, “Ascend.” Designed to Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

SC22 Booth Videos

AMD @ SC22
Altair @ SC22
AWS @ SC22
Ayar Labs @ SC22
CoolIT @ SC22
Cornelis Networks @ SC22
DDN @ SC22
Dell Technologies @ SC22
HPE @ SC22
Intel @ SC22
Intelligent Light @ SC22
Lancium @ SC22
Lenovo @ SC22
Microsoft and NVIDIA @ SC22
One Stop Systems @ SC22
Penguin Solutions @ SC22
QCT @ SC22
Supermicro @ SC22
Tuxera @ SC22
Tyan Computer @ SC22
  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire