Thursday, June 19, 2008

IBM-Built Supercomputer No. 1 in TOP500


According to (


IBM's hybrid supercomputer, codenamed Roadrunner, built for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Los Alamos National Lab, burned its way into the TOP500 Supercomputer record book today as the most powerful system in the world. Its sustained performance of 1.02 petaflops (1.02 quadrillion calculations per second) - using the standard Linpack benchmark. It is the first general-purpose computer to reach this milestone. The new performance record represents more than twice the computational power of the reigning TOP500 champ, Lawrence Livermore's Blue Gene/L supercomputer. (based on AMD Opteron)

This "hybrid" architecture, which optimizes the strength of multiple types of processors, is an IBM hallmark.
But this system is powered by mix of IBM PowerXCell 8i Cell Broadband Engine processors – derived from chips that power today’s most popular videogame consoles - and 6,562 AMD Opteron Dual-Core processors.
Although IBM selected AMD processors for their performance leader, 374 systems (74.8 percent) out of Top 500 list now using Intel processors.

Moreover, the number of systems using Intel Harpertown and Clovertown quad-core chips showed the fastest growth rising in six months from 102 to 252 systems.

From Engadget:


When you're looking to set a record this is how you do it. Not only has IBM's Roadrunner supercomputer come on-line, it's now the world's fastest -- twice as fast as the old BluGene/L champ -- and churning through 1.026 quadrillion calculations per second.

The $133 million supercomputer achieved the milestone with the help of 12,960 "improved" Cell processors (yes, like those powering your PS3) and a smaller number of AMD Opteron processors -- 116,640 processor cores in total.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending upon your perspective), Roadrunner is for military use only so you'll have to solve the traveling salesman problem on your own time.

While not quite into Exaflop territory, we're definitely on the way.

[Thanks, Chris S.]

Xbitlabs and Engadget.

Wingman tweaking his processors...

Sidenote: Even with the crash, Firefox 3.0 hit 8 million downloads in 24 hours.
Yeah, I was one of them...

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