IBM Supercomputers Reign Over Field

    June 22, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

The top two places, and six of the top ten supercomputers in the world, were all made by Big Blue.

In a list of the world’s top 500 supercomputers to be announced at a conference in Heidelberg, Germany, IBM will occupy the top two spots on the list. Its BlueGene/L system installed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories will be at the top.

BlueGene/L also took the top spot in last year’s top 500 listing. The newly installed Watson Blue Gene system in Yorktown, New York, will be in second place on the list. WBG will be used for scientific and business applications.

Performance for the BlueGene/L system nearly doubled from the previous year. This year, the system hit a new Linpack benchmark performance of 136.9 teraflops. That would be 1 trillion floating point operations per second. Last year’s rating was 70.72 teraflops.

And according to an IBM executive, BlueGene/L should hit 270 to 280 teraflops over the summer. Meanwhile, the Watson Blue Gene system hit a mark of 91.2 teraflops in benchmark testing.

In a nice bit of news for Linux fans, eight of the top ten supercomputers in the world run on Linux.

A Silicon Graphics system operating at the NASA Ames Research Center in California placed third on the the list. The fourth place machine, the NEC Earth Simulator in Japan, had been the world’s fastest prior to the arrival of BlueGene/L.

Adding a bit of spice to the world of supercomputing will be the latest man versus machine chess match. British chess grandmaster Michael Adams will face Hydra, a cluster PC based in the United Arab Emirates.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.