IBM Roadrunner - World Fastest Computer

. 7/11/09

IBM's Roadrunner supercomputer at the Los Alamos National Laboratory held on to its title as the world's fastest computer, followed once again by Cray's Jaguar.

The biannual Top500 list, released Tuesday at the 2009 International Supercomputing Conference, also saw two new systems enter the top 10. Both systems -- the IBM BlueGene/P called Jugene and the Juropa, which is built from Novascale and Sun Microsystems Sun Blade x6048 server -- were at Forschungszentrum Juelich in Germany. The Jugene achieved 825.5 teraflops and the Juropa 274.8 teraflops. A teraflop is a trillion floating point operations per second.

But the IBM Roadrunner remained the king with 1.105 petaflops. The system became the first to break the petaflop barrier in June 2008. The Cray XT5 Jaguar system at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory was a close second at 1.059 petaflops. A petaflop is a quadrillion floating point operations per second. IBM's Jugene entered the top 10 as No. 3.

The two new Germany-based systems were the only supercomputers in the latest top 10 that were not based in the United States, which is the leading consumer of high-performance computers. Fully 291 of the Top500 systems are based in the United States.

Hewlett-Packard maintained a narrow lead in the number of systems in the Top500, but IBM remained ahead in terms of overall performance. Quad-core processor-based systems have taken over the Top500, accounting for 383 systems.

The entry level for the list moved up to 17.1 teraflops on the Linpack benchmark from 12.64 teraflops six months ago. Total combined performance of all 500 systems grew to 22.6 petaflops, compared with 16.95 petaflops six months ago and 11.7 petaflops a year ago.

A total of 399 systems are now using Intel processors, slightly up from 379 systems six months ago. IBM Power processors are the second most commonly used processor line with 55 systems, down from 60. They're followed by Opteron line from Advanced Micro Devices, which accounts for 43 systems, down from 59.

The Top500 list is compiled at the University of Mannheim, Germany; the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The full list is posted on the Top500 Web site.

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