Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Who has the most powerful computers in the world?

From the site is the following table as of Nov. 2009.

1Ok Ridge National Laboratory, United StatesJaguar - Cray XT5-HE Opteron Six Core 2.6 GHz
Cray Inc.
2DOE/NNSA/LANL, United StatesRoadrunner - BladeCenter QS22/LS21 Cluster, PowerXCell 8i 3.2 Ghz / Opteron DC 1.8 GHz, Voltaire Infiniband
3 National Institute for Computational Sciences/University of Tennessee
United States
Kraken XT5 - Cray XT5-HE Opteron Six Core 2.6 GHz
Cray Inc.
4 Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ)
JUGENE - Blue Gene/P Solution
5 National SuperComputer Center in Tianjin/NUDT
Tianhe-1 - NUDT TH-1 Cluster, Xeon E5540/E5450, ATI Radeon HD 4870 2, Infiniband
6 NASA/Ames Research Center/NAS
United States
Pleiades - SGI Altix ICE 8200EX, Xeon QC 3.0 GHz/Nehalem EP 2.93 Ghz
United States
BlueGene/L - eServer Blue Gene Solution
8 Argonne National Laboratory
United States
Blue Gene/P Solution
9 Texas Advanced Computing Center/Univ. of Texas
United States
Ranger - SunBlade x6420, Opteron QC 2.3 Ghz, Infiniband
Sun Microsystems
10 Sandia National Laboratories / National Renewable Energy Laboratory
United States
Red Sky - Sun Blade x6275, Xeon X55xx 2.93 Ghz, Infiniband
Sun Microsystems

The rankings are based on some benchmarks like LINPACK which measures the number of floating point operations per second. The fastest or #1 on the list has rating of 1.75 petaflop/s performance. A petaflop is 1012 operations per second.

Now, buying a supercomputer just to be in the top500 list with all the hardware, maintenance and software support is out of the question for the Philippines at the moment. Such vain attempts is a waste of money and instead, we should concentrate on developing parallel computing programmers and system administration.

It is worth noting that the first and third most powerful computers are XT5 systems from Cray,Inc. a company which was descended from the original companies founded by Seymour Cray a former supercomputer designer from CDC or Control Data Corporation.

The United States dominates the field by having eight out of 10 sytems. Only Germany and China are the other countries in the list.

Also Japan is not on the list, but the impetus for the US preeminence in the supercomputing field was the NEC Climate Supersimulator which remained #1 for a few years, bringing fear to the U.S. of losing its technological edge and which spurred a furious pace of research and development in supercomputing. The result was that IBM brought the supercomputing prestige back to the U.S. thru its introduction of the ASCI Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative RED computer serving Sandia and which was decommissioned in 2008. See .

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