Erich Strohmaier, a founding editor of the TOP500 list and leader of Future Technologies Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has written a cover story for Scientific Computing magazine on how the twice-yearly TOP500 list of the world’s top supercomputers provides a good look at the state of HPC technology. As one of the founding editors of the list, Strohmaier has compiled 39 such lists since 1993. While most of the HPC community focuses on the No. 1 spot and the top 10 systems, by digging deeper, a complete picture of what’s happening in high performance computing emerges. In the latest list from June 2012, the two lists illustrate how technology is refreshed, a process that is not always uniform. The primary reason for the different refresh rates is that the TOP500 List encompasses two HPC populations.