IBM first among 500 top supercomputing sites

A survey of the most powerful 500 supercomputing sites in the world puts IBM in the lead position for the first time.

IBM systems now power 141 of the top 500 supercomputing sites in the Top500 list, an independently maintained list of the fastest installed systems in the world.

The Top500 list will be released publicly next week at the Supercomputer '99 conference in OregonIBM increased its number of Top500 installations by 36 per cent over the past year from 104 to 141, taking it past Silicon Graphics/Cray Research, which had led the Top500 list for the previous seven years it had been tabulated, according to information on the Top500 Web site.

All of IBM's Top500 sites were installations of RS/6000 SP parallel processing computers, which also are at the heart of the IBM Deep Blue chess-playing system, IBM noted.

SGI/Cray's Top500 installations fell by 27 per cent from 183 to 133, and Sun Microsystems was ranked third with 113 sites, according to information on the Top500 site.

The latest Top500 list demonstrates the emerging number of supercomputers used in mainstream business, as 246 of the systems are used for commercial applications, IBM said.

In the previous Top500 list, released in June, the fastest computer in the world was listed as a 9472-processor Intel-based system called Asci Red, installed at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque. The system rates at 2121 GFLOPS in the Linpack benchmark.

IBM said it will deliver the fastest computer system in the world next year to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which will be capable of 10000 GFLOPS. A prototype of the ASCI White system has been delivered and debuted at number 120 in the latest Top500 rankings, IBM said.

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