“With performance almost double that of the Earth Simulator, in Yokohama, Japan, IBM’s Blue Gene/L on Monday was officially ranked first on the Top500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers. IBM built four of the top ten machines on the biannual list,” Robert McMillan reports for IDG News Service. “Blue Gene/L is a 33,000-processor prototype of a much larger $100 million system that will be delivered to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, during the first half of 2005. The system is capable of performing 70.72 trillion calculations per second, making it the first new system to top the list since NEC’s Earth Simulator first appeared in 2002.”
“When fully assembled at Lawrence Livermore, Blue Gene/L will be a 130,000-processor system with an estimated peak performance of 360 teraflops, according to IBM. A teraflop is one trillion calculations per second,” McMillan reports. “In second place on Monday’s Top500 ranking is the 10,240-processor Columbia supercomputer, built by Silicon Graphics (SGI) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, in Mountain View, California. With a benchmarked performance of 51.87 teraflops, it easily beat out the Earth Simulator, which was measured at 35.86 teraflops.”
“Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University reappeared on the list, finishing in seventh position five months after dropping off the last list, issued in June, because of a hardware upgrade to Apple Computer’s Xserve systems. Virginia Tech’s SuperMac system reported a benchmark of 12.25 teraflops,” McMillan reports.
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