November 2008

The Los Alamos system, nicknamed Roadrunner, was slightly enhanced since June and narrowly fended off a challenge by the Cray XT5 supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory called Jaguar. The system, only the second to break the petaflop/s barrier, posted a top performance of 1.059 petaflop/s in running the Linpack benchmark application. One petaflop/s represents one quadrillion floating point operations per second.

Both of the systems are at national laboratories operated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Seven of the top 10 systems on the newest TOP500 list are located at DOE facilities. Nine of the top 10 supercomputers are located in the United States. The most powerful system outside the U.S. is the Chinese-built Dawning 5000A at the Shanghai Supercomputer Center. It is the largest system which can be operated with Windows HPC 2008 operating system.

The TOP500 list, which is issued twice a year, will again be the subject of a session at the SC08 conference being held Nov. 15-21 in Austin, Texas. Complete information about the TOP500 list can be found at:

Just as the performance levels have increased dramatically, so have the costs of running and cooling such large systems. To help assess the energy efficiency of supercomputers, the TOP500 list is now tracking actual power consumption of supercomputers in consistent fashion. Not only is it the most powerful supercomputer, but Roadrunner is also one of the most energy efficient systems on the TOP500. Roadrunner is based on the IBM QS22 blades which are built with advanced versions of the processor in the Sony PlayStation 3. These nodes are connected with a commodity InfiniBand network.

TOP 10 Sites for November 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
129,600 1,105.00 1,456.70 2,483
2 Jaguar - Cray XT5 QC 2.3 GHz, Cray/HPE
DOE/SC/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
United States
150,152 1,059.00 1,381.40 6,950
3 Pleiades - SGI Altix ICE 8200EX, Xeon QC 3.0/2.66 GHz, HPE
NASA/Ames Research Center/NAS
United States
51,200 487.00 608.83 2,090
4 BlueGene/L - eServer Blue Gene Solution, IBM
United States
212,992 478.20 596.38 2,329
5 Kraken XT5 - Cray XT5 QC 2.3 GHz, Cray/HPE
National Institute for Computational Sciences/University of Tennessee
United States
66,000 463.30 607.20
6 Intrepid - Blue Gene/P Solution, IBM
DOE/SC/Argonne National Laboratory
United States
163,840 450.30 557.06 1,260
7 Ranger - SunBlade x6420, Opteron QC 2.3 Ghz, Infiniband, Oracle
Texas Advanced Computing Center/Univ. of Texas
United States
62,976 433.20 579.38 2,000
8 Franklin - Cray XT4 QuadCore 2.3 GHz, Cray/HPE
United States
38,642 266.30 355.51 1,150
9 Jaguar - Cray XT4 QuadCore 2.1 GHz, Cray/HPE
DOE/SC/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
United States
30,976 205.00 260.20 1,580
10 Red Storm - Sandia/ Cray Red Storm, XT3/4, 2.4/2.2 GHz dual/quad core, Cray/HPE
NNSA/Sandia National Laboratories
United States
38,208 204.20 284.00 2,506