June 2008

With the publication of the latest edition of the TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers today (Wednesday, June 18), the global high performance computing community has officially entered a new realm—a supercomputer with a peak performance of more than 1 petaflop/s (one quadrillion floating point operations per second).

The new No. 1 system, built by IBM for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory and called “Roadrunner,” achieved performance of 1.026 petaflop/s—becoming the first supercomputer ever to reach this milestone. At the same time, Roadrunner is also one of the most energy efficient systems on the TOP500.

The 31st edition of the TOP500 list was released at the International Supercomputing Conference in Dresden, Germany. Since 1993, the list has been produced twice a year and is the most extensive survey of trends and changes in the global supercomputing arena.

The Roadrunner system is based on the IBM QS22 blades which are built with advanced versions of the processor in the Sony PlayStation 3, displaces the reigning IBM BlueGene/L system at DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Blue Gene/L, with a performance of 478.2 teraflop/s (trillions of floating point operations per second) is now ranked No. 2 after holding the top position since November 2004.

Rounding out the top five positions, all of which are in the U.S., are the new IBM BlueGene/P (450.3 teraflop/s) at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, the new Sun SunBlade x6420 “Ranger” system (326 teraflop/s) at the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas – Austin, and the upgraded Cray XT4 “Jaguar” (205 teraflop/s) at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Among all systems, Intel continues to power an increasing number, with Intel processors now found in 75 percent of the TOP500 supercomputers, up from 70.8 percent of the 30th list released last November.

For the first time, the TOP500 list will also provide energy efficiency calculations for many of the computing systems and will continue tracking them in consistent manner.

Rounding out the Top 10 systems are:

  • The No. 6 system is the top system outside the U.S., installed in Germany at the Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ). It is an IBM BlueGene/P system and was measured at 180 Tflop/s.
  • The No. 7 system is installed at a new center, the New Mexico Computing Applications Center (NMCAC) in Rio Rancho, NM. It is built by SGI and based on the Altix ICE 8200 model. It was measured at 133.2 Tflop/s.
  • For the second time, India placed a system in the top10. The Computational Research Laboratories, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Ltd. in Pune, India, installed a Hewlett-Packard Cluster Platform 3000 BL460c system. They integrated this system with their own innovative routing technology and achieved a performance of 132.8 Tflop/s which was sufficient for No. 8.
  • The No. 9 system is a new BlueGene/P system installed at the Institut du Développement et des Ressources en Informatique Scientifique (IDRIS) in France, which was measured at 112.5 Tflop/s.
  • The last new system in the TOP10 – at No. 10 – is also an SGI Altix ICE 8200 system. It is the biggest system installed at an industrial customer, Total Exploration Production. It was ranked based on a Linpack performance of 106.1 Tflop/s.

TOP 10 Sites for June 2008

For more information about the sites and systems in the list, click on the links or view the complete list.

Rank System Cores Rmax (TFlop/s) Rpeak (TFlop/s) Power (kW)
1 Roadrunner - BladeCenter QS22/LS21 Cluster, PowerXCell 8i 3.2 Ghz / Opteron DC 1.8 GHz, Voltaire Infiniband , IBM
United States
122,400 1,026.0 1,375.8 2,345
2 BlueGene/L - eServer Blue Gene Solution , IBM
United States
212,992 478.2 596.4 2,329
3 Kraken XT5 - Cray XT5 QC 2.3 GHz , Cray Inc.
National Institute for Computational Sciences/University of Tennessee
United States
66,000 463.3 607.2
4 Intrepid - Blue Gene/P Solution , IBM
DOE/SC/Argonne National Laboratory
United States
163,840 450.3 557.1 1,260
5 Ranger - SunBlade x6420, Opteron Quad 2Ghz, Infiniband , Oracle
Texas Advanced Computing Center/Univ. of Texas
United States
62,976 326.0 503.8 2,000
6 Jaguar - Cray XT4 QuadCore 2.1 GHz , Cray Inc.
DOE/SC/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
United States
30,976 205.0 260.2 1,580
7 JUGENE - Blue Gene/P Solution , IBM
Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ)
65,536 180.0 222.8 504
8 Encanto - SGI Altix ICE 8200, Xeon quad core 3.0 GHz , HPE
New Mexico Computing Applications Center (NMCAC)
United States
14,336 133.2 172.0 861
9 EKA - Cluster Platform 3000 BL460c, Xeon 53xx 3GHz, Infiniband , HPE
Computational Research Laboratories, TATA SONS
14,384 132.8 172.6 786
10 Blue Gene/P Solution , IBM
40,960 112.5 139.3 315