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HPC List Shows Interconnect Status

An online listing of the world's most powerful high-performance computing (HPC) sites reveals progress -- and the lack thereof -- in interconnect technologies used to link clustered supercomputers.

The latest version of the Top 500 Supercomputer Sites shows Gigabit Ethernet's the world's most popular method for HPC linkage, with Myrinet, the interconnect technology licensed by Myricom Inc. that competes with Infiniband, coming second. InfiniBand itself is growing, though not quite as quickly as its proponents might like.

The number of systems using Gigabit Ethernet grew by nearly 50 percent, and ones using Myrinet grew by roughly 60 percent over the last six months. The number of InfiniBand installations also grew -- from three to ten -- not quite the 15 or 20 predicted by some proponents as recently as April (see Interconnects Look to HPC List).

In contrast, more systems use Quadrics, another InfiniBand competitor, than before, but the scale's still small; and ones that use Hyperplex and Hyperfabric, variations of Myrinet OEM'd by Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), look to have decreased at the top sites.

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