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IBM Dominates Supercomputer Rankings

SAN JOSE, Calif. — IBM Corp. took top honors in the latest ranking of the world’s top 500 supercomputers released Monday (Nov. 14) with its systems taking the three top spots and five of the top ten slots.

IBM’s BlueGene/L system installed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) ranked as the fastest supercomputer in the world at 280.6 TFlop/s, twice the performance the system demonstrated in earlier rankings. It is the first system to surpass the 100 TFlop/s mark and is expected to remain at the top of the rankings for some time.

IBM has been building out the custom cluster architecture at LLNL. Ultimately it will sport 128,000 custom Power CPUs when it is completed.
BlueGene/L is designed to use less power and require less floor space than competing supercomputers, in part by its use of very small individual nodes with only a few custom-built chips.

Another version of BlueGene/L being built at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center ranked as the second most powerful computer in the world at 91.20 TFlop/s Linpack performance. A separate IBM architecture at LLNL, dubbed ASIC Purple and based on IBM’s pSeries 575 servers, took third place on the list at 63.4 TFlop/s.

The Columbia system at NASA/Ames, a cluster based on Intel Itanium CPUs built by SGI, slipped to the No. 4 spot with 51.87 TFlop/s performance.