IBM dominates the 5th Green500 list

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The 5th Green500 list was announced this week (I think; I’m not sure why it lagged the Top500 so much this time, but maybe I’m just remembering wrong). IBM has taken the opportunity to announce their overall dominance of that last and, actually, they have a fair bit to crow about.

IBM logoThe list shows that 18 of the Top20 most energy efficient supercomputers in the world are built on IBM high performance computing technology. The list includes supercomputers from across the globe being used for a variety of applications such as astronomy, climate prediction and pharmaceutical research. IBM also holds 57 of the Top100 positions on this list.

Something particularly interesting about the list from IBM’s perspective is that all of their HPC-oriented product lines are on it: the QS22 Cell B/E blades, the Blue Gene, the iDataPlex, and the BladeCenter HS21 clusters. That really is a remarkable lineage, and seems to indicate that IBM’s approach to energy-efficient computing is something that permeates all of it’s engineering efforts, not something that is just slapped on a product line for marketing. Now, true enough that these are relative rankings, and there is certainly a lot more room for improvement, but give credit where credit is due as the man says.

Rounding out the Top20 are the GRAPE DR cluster in Japan (it will always be tough to compete with purpose-built clusters operating within their target domain), and NEC system in Germany. From 20 on other vendors start to make a stronger showing, with systems from SGI, Cray, ATIPA, Dell, and others popping in.

IBM evidently couldn’t resist making a comparison to tweak the nose of one of its rivals

The world’s fastest supercomputer, the IBM supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratories, the machine that first broke through the petaflop barrier, is ranked the fourth most energy efficient supercomputer in the world capable of over 444 Mflops per watt of energy, while the second  fastest supercomputer in the world manufactured by Cray is ranked 90th on the Green500 List, producing only 152 Mflops per watt.