IBM dominates top 500 supercomputer list

With a 48 percent share of the systems on the list, IBM demonstrates growth in Blue Gene, POWER and BladeCenter-based systems.

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IBM systems account for 240 of the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world and more than half the total processing power according to the just-released TOP500 Supercomputer Sites list. IBM's Blue Gene/L developed and installed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory tops the list with an unprecedented sustained performance of 280.6 Teraflops, or trillions of floating point calculations per second.

IBM’s industry-leading performance was propelled by its strength across diverse computing platforms: including growth in the number of Blue Gene systems (from 19 to 24, compared with the previous list), AMD Opteron clusters (from 8 to 31), and System p-based machines (from 46 to 47) including the debut on the TOP500 list of the first announced BladeCenter JS21-based supercomputer -- the 15 teraflop system at Indiana University, which is currently the largest university based supercomputer in the United States.

IBM BladeCenter systems grew steeply, nearly doubling from 71 to 132 total BladeCenter-based systems in the time since the November 2005 TOP500 rankings. Blade-based systems accounted for over 470 teraflops of the June list’s total performance. BladeCenter offers clients an innovative and high density computing solution with the ability to combine servers, storage, networking, and software all in one system.

"By giving our clients access to innovative, affordable and flexible supercomputing power like Blue Gene, POWER5-based p5 575 systems, JS20/JS21 Power-based BladeCenter systems and the Deep Computing Capacity on Demand Center, we are providing new resources to drive breakthroughs in business, science and industry," said Dave Turek, vice president, Deep Computing, IBM. "Whether we are talking about improving the accuracy of weather forecasts, designing better automobiles or improving disease research, we are seeing the advent of a new supercomputing age."

Joining the Blue Gene/L system at Lawrence Livermore in the TOP500 list’s top three slots are IBM's own Blue Gene/L Watson system at 91.29 Teraflops, and the recently-upgraded ASC Purple supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, now with 75.76 Teraflops. Blue Gene/L and Purple are systems in the National Nuclear Security Administration's Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) Program, which is dedicated to ensuring the safety, security and reliability of the nation's nuclear stockpile without underground testing.

IBM had more than 1.5 petaflops of the list’s aggregate performance total of 2.791 petaflops, more than three times the total throughput of nearest rival, HP. IBM systems accounted for four of the top 10 machines on the list. IBM also had 46 of the top 100 systems.

In addition, IBM is debuting five new Blue Gene systems on the TOP500 List, including the three systems at KEK High Energy Accelerator Research Organization in Japan as well as the system at Forschungszentrum Juelich Laboratory in Germany - one which now stands at 8th on the list.

Since IBM announced the commercial availability of the IBM System Blue Gene Solution, a commercial version of the research project, in November 2004, a record number of 24 Blue Gene systems appear on the list. Based on IBM's Power architecture, the IBM System Blue Gene Solution is optimized for bandwidth, scalability and the ability to handle large amounts of data while consuming a fraction of the power and floor space required by today's fastest systems. IBM and its teammates are exploring a growing list of high performance computing (HPC) applications including life sciences, financial modeling, hydrodynamics, quantum chemistry, molecular dynamics, astronomy and space research and climate modeling for Blue Gene solutions.

World’s Top Supercomputer Delivers Scientific Breakthrough
In related news, on June 22, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced that their scientists had used the world’s most powerful computer, Blue Gene/L to run a scientific code at a sustained performance level of 207 teraflops – the highest performing application ever run in the history of computing.

Dubbed “Qbox,” the world’s fastest application is used by Livermore scientists to understand the complex interactions of metals at the subatomic level and is a key element in the NNSA’s ASC mission to protect and maintain the safety and efficacy of the United States nuclear stockpile.

Along with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, ASTRON, AIST, NIWS, NCAR, University of Edinburgh, San Diego Supercomputing Center, Argonne National Lab, The Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the IBM Deep Computing Capacity on Demand Center, these research institutions make up a growing ecosystem of early collaborators harnessing Blue Gene's power to help advance research.

The "TOP500 Supercomputer Sites" is compiled and published by supercomputing experts Jack Dongarra from the University of Tennessee, Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of NERSC/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim (Germany). The entire list can be viewed at

For more information about IBM, visit
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