Top500 Movers and Shakers

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For those of you interested in lists, the June 2010 Top500 list was released this morning at ISC.  There was some serious movers and shakers with respect to the top ten participants.  Most obvious was China’s move to number two on the list.  The Nebulae system was built by Dawning with a combination of Intel Nehalem 5650 cores and NVIDIA Tesla C2050 GPUs.  C2050’s?  Yes, they’re Fermi’s.

China’s ambition to enter the supercomputing arena have become obvious with a system called Nebulae, build from a Dawning TC3600 Blade system with Intel X5650 processors and NVidia Tesla C2050 GPUs. Nebulae is currently the fastest system worldwide in theoretical peak performance at 2.98 PFlop/s. With a Linpack performance of 1.271 PFlop/s it holds the No. 2 spot on the 35th edition of the closely watched TOP500 list of supercomputers.

Roadrunner at LANL dropped to number three on the list.  It holds at 1.04PF.  This pushed Kraken at ORNL/NICS to number four.  The number five system on the list was the powerful system in Europe.

At No. 5 is the most powerful system in Europe — an IBM BlueGene/P supercomputer located at the Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ) in Germany. It achieved 825.5 teraflop/s on the Linpack benchmark.

A few more highlights from the release include:

  • The entry level to the list moved up to the 24.7 teraflop/s mark on the Linpack benchmark from 20 teraflop/s six months ago. The last system on the newest list would have been listed at position 357 in the previous TOP500 just six months ago. This replacement rate was far below average. This might reflect the impact of the recession and purchase delays due to anticipation of new products with six or more core processor technologies replacing current quad-core based systems.
  • Quad-core processor based systems have saturated the TOP500 with now 425 systems using them. However, processor with six or more cores per processor can already be found in 25 systems.
  • A total of 408 systems (81.6 percent) are now using Intel processors. This is slightly up from six months ago (402 systems, 80.4 percent). Intel continues to provide the processors for the largest share of TOP500 systems. The AMD Opteron is the second most common used processor family with 47 systems (9.4 percent), up from 42. They are followed by the IBM Power processors with 42 systems (8.4 percent), down from 52.
  • IBM and Hewlett-Packard continue to sell the bulk of systems at all performance levels of the TOP500. HP lost its narrow lead in systems to IBM and has now 185 systems (37 percent) compared to IBM with 198 systems (39.8 percent). HP had 210 systems (42 percent) six months ago, compared to IBM with 186 systems (37.2 percent). In the system category, Cray, SGI, and Dell follow with 4.2 percent, 3.4 percent and 3.4 percent respectively.
  • IBM remains the clear leader in the TOP500 list in performance with 33.6 percent of installed total performance (down from 35.1 percent), compared to HP with 20.4 percent (down from 23 percent). In the performance category, the manufacturers with more than 5 percent are: Cray (14.8 percent of performance) and SGI (6.6 percent), each of which benefits from large systems in the TOP10.
  • The U.S. is clearly the leading consumer of HPC systems with 282 of the 500 systems (up from 277). The European share (144 systems – down from 152) is still substantially larger then the Asian share (57 systems – up from 51). In Europe, UK remains the No. 1 with 38 systems (45 six months ago). France passed Germany and has now 29 (up from 26). Germany is still now the No. 3 spot with 24 systems (27 six months ago). Dominant countries in Asia are China with 24 systems (up from 21), Japan with 18 systems (up from 16), and India with 5 systems (up from 3).

For more info on the movers and shakers on the Top500, read their full release here.


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