This month’s supercomputer ‘TOP500’ list is headed up by the US Deparement of Energy’s Los Alamos ‘RoadRunner,’ one of two machines to break the petaflop barriers with 1105 teraflops. Most significant novelty is the arrival of Microsoft Windows HPC 2008 at number 10 with the Dawning 5000A system at the Shanghai Supercomputer Center. But before you rush out to buy one, note that the Dawning is equipped with a hefty 122 terabytes of memory!
The only dedicated oil and gas machine in the list is Total E&P’s 106 teraflop (for a more modest 20TB memory) SGI Altix ICE 8200. But the absence of other machines is probably a reporting issue as many seismic contractors have better things to do than tune their clusters for Linpac.
We tried to normalize some of the TOP500 statistics by dividing the Rmax teraflops ratings by the aggregate number of processors. This showed that Microsoft’s 2008 HPC offering has tripled its GFLOP/Processor rating to 6.6, three times its 2003 HPC offering—bringing it in line with the Linux average. The most intensive machines on this composite rating run IBM’s AIX (10.4 GFLOP/processor), SGI (9.4) and OpenSolaris (9.1).
Another significant development is the arrival of the GPU-based heterogeneous cluster from NEC and Sun installed at Tokyo Tech. The ‘Tsubame’ (in at N° 29) includes 170 Tesla S1070 1U systems and produces 77.5 teraflops of Linpack performance. More from www.top500.org.
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