November 2009

In its third run to knock the IBM supercomputer nicknamed “Roadrunner” off the top perch on the TOP500 list of supercomputers, the Cray XT5 supercomputer known as Jaguar finally claimed the top spot on the 34th edition of the closely watched list.

The newest version of the TOP500 list, which is issued twice yearly, will be formally presented on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the SC09 Conference to be held at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

Jaguar, which is located at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility and was upgraded earlier this year, posted a 1.75 petaflop/s performance speed running the Linpack benchmark. Jaguar roared ahead with new processors bringing the theoretical peak capability to 2.3 petaflop/s and nearly a quarter of a million cores. One petaflop/s refers to one quadrillion calculations per second.

When the Roadrunner system at Los Alamos first appeared at the top of the June 2008 TOP500 list, it was the world’s first petaflop/s supercomputer. This time around, Roadrunner recorded a performance of 1.04 petaflops, dropping from 1.105 petaflop/s in June 2009 due to a repartitioning of the system. In both November 2008 and June 2009, Jaguar came close but couldn’t dislodge Roadrunner from the top slot.

Kraken, another upgraded Cray XT5 system at the National Institute for Computational Sciences/University of Tennessee, claimed the No. 3 position with a performance of 832 teraflop/s (trillions of calculations per second).

At No. 4 is the most powerful system outside the U.S. -- an IBM BlueGene/P supercomputer located at the Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ) in Germany. It achieved 825.5 teraflop/s on the Linpack benchmark and was No. 3 in June 2009.

Rounding out the top 5 positions is the new Tianhe-1 (meaning River in Sky) system installed at the National Super Computer Center in Tianjin, China and to be used to address research problems in petroleum exploration and the simulation of large aircraft designs. The highest ranked Chinese system ever, Tianhe-1 is a hybrid design with Intel Xeon processors and AMD GPUs used as accelerators. Each node consists of two AMD GPUs attached to two Intel Xeon processors.

TOP 10 Sites for November 2009

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

Rank Site System Cores Rmax (TFlop/s) Rpeak (TFlop/s) Power (kW)
1 DOE/SC/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
United States
Jaguar - Cray XT5-HE Opteron 6-core 2.6 GHz
Cray Inc.
224,162 1,759.0 2,331.0 6,950
United States
Roadrunner - BladeCenter QS22/LS21 Cluster, PowerXCell 8i 3.2 Ghz / Opteron DC 1.8 GHz, Voltaire Infiniband
122,400 1,042.0 1,375.8 2,345
3 National Institute for Computational Sciences/University of Tennessee
United States
Kraken XT5 - Cray XT5-HE Opteron 6-core 2.6 GHz
Cray Inc.
98,928 831.7 1,028.9 3,090
4 Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ)
JUGENE - Blue Gene/P Solution
294,912 825.5 1,002.7 2,268
5 National SuperComputer Center in Tianjin/NUDT
Tianhe-1 - NUDT TH-1 Cluster, Xeon E5540/E5450, ATI Radeon HD 4870 2, Infiniband
71,680 563.1 1,206.2
6 NASA/Ames Research Center/NAS
United States
Pleiades - SGI Altix ICE 8200EX, Xeon QC 3.0 GHz/Nehalem EP 2.93 Ghz
56,320 544.3 673.3 2,348
United States
BlueGene/L - eServer Blue Gene Solution
212,992 478.2 596.4 2,329
8 DOE/SC/Argonne National Laboratory
United States
Intrepid - Blue Gene/P Solution
163,840 458.6 557.1 1,260
9 Texas Advanced Computing Center/Univ. of Texas
United States
Ranger - SunBlade x6420, Opteron QC 2.3 Ghz, Infiniband
62,976 433.2 579.4 2,000
10 Sandia National Laboratories / National Renewable Energy Laboratory
United States
Red Sky - Sun Blade x6275, Xeon X55xx 2.93 Ghz, Infiniband
41,616 423.9 487.7