The 23rd edition of the semi-annual TOP500 Supercomputer survey was released at the International Supercomputer Conference in Heidelberg, Germany last week.
The NEC-built Earth Simulator supercomputer installed in 2002 at the Earth Simulator Center in Yokohama, Japan, again took the top spot, with a Linpack benchmark performance of 35.86 teraflops per second.
There was much movement among the top 10 players. Of particular note is a new No. 2 system Thunder, an Intel Itanium2-based cluster system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California. Also of interest is the No. 10 spot. The Los Angeles based Myricom's Myrinet interconnect network is the first system from a Chinese integrator ever to enter the top 10.
IBM took more top 10 spots than any other vendor. It laid claim to the No. 4, No. 8, and No. 6 positions. The systems in the two former spots are the prototypes for the upcoming IBM BlueGene/L system and are a joint development of LLNL and IBM. The supercomputers currently reside at IBM's Thomas Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY. The system in the No. 8 spot will be installed at LLNL and is expected to replace the Earth Simulator by June 2005. The No. 6 system is a new p690 with 1.9 GHz Power4+ processors. It is installed at the ECMWF in UK.
HP took two top 10 spots (No. 3 and No. 9), while Dell, Fujitsu, NEC, California Digital, and Dawning each took one.
In addition to IBM's strong footprint in the top 10, it took more spots in the top 500 list than any other vendor. The 224 systems accounted for 44.80 percent of the systems and 50.12 percent of installed performance. HP was the power behind 28 percent of the systems and 18.5 percent of total performance. The two vendors sold the bulk of systems at all performance levels of the TOP500 to the degree that no other manufacturer was able to capture more than 6 percent in any category.
In terms of overall performance, the number of systems exceeding the 1 Tflop/s mark on the Linpack benchmark jumped from 130 last November to 242 and accounted for almost half the list. Total accumulated performance, 813 Tflop/s, is approaching the level of a petaflop/s and represents a marked increase over the 528 Tflop/s total from six months ago. In addition, the entry point for the top 100 rose from 1.142 Tflop/s to 1.922 Tflop/s.
Intel appears to be winning out on the processor front: 287 systems are now using Intel processors. On the previous list, there were 189 Intel-based system, and last June's list had 119. Other common processor types are IBM's Power processor (75 systems), HP's PA-RISC processors (57), and AMD's processors (34).