Advertisement
Articles
Advertisement

The World’s Top 10 Supercomputers

Sun, 07/31/2005 - 8:00pm
Scientific Computing

A closer look at the most powerful commercially available computer systems

1. BlueGene/L ß-System

• IBM eServer Blue Gene Solution
• Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, USA
• 136.8 TF/s, 65,536 processors

BlueGene/L is designed for research and development in computational science and is targeted at delivering hundreds of teraflops to selected applications of interest for the Advanced Simulation and Computing Program (ASC). It has doubled in size since November 2004 and will be doubled in size once again before the next version of the TOP500 list is published in November 2005. This next doubling in size will bring BlueGene/L to its planned final configuration with 65,536 dual-processor compute nodes for a theoretical peak computing capability in excess of 360 teraflops.

2. Watson Blue Gene (BGW)

• IBM eServer Blue Gene Solution
• IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, USA
• 91.29 TF/s, 40,960 processors

BGW is designed for use in a variety of fields including life sciences, hydrodynamics, materials sciences, quantum chemistry, molecular and fluid dynamics and business applications. IBM also intends to provide access to BGW computing resources to academic and industrial researchers as part of the U.S.Department of Energy's Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment program.



3. Columbia

• SGI Altix 3700, Infiniband
• NASA/Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, USA
• 51.87 TF/s, 10,160 processors

With Columbia at its core, the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Division provides an integrated computing, visualization and data storage environment to help NASA meet its mission goals and the Vision for Space Exploration. Columbia allows NASA to perform numerical simulations at the cutting edge of science and engineering.


4. Earth-Simulator

• NEC Vector, SX6
• Earth Simulator Center, Yokohama, Japan
• 35.86 TF/s, 5120 processors

The Earth Simulator creates a "virtual planet earth" through processing vast volumes of data sent from satellites, buoys and other worldwide observation points. The system aids in analysis and prediction of environmental changes on the Earth through the simulation of global-scale environmental phenomena such as global warming, El Nino, atmospheric and marine pollution and torrential rainfall. It also provides a research tool for explaining terrestrial phenomena such as tectonics and earthquakes.

5. MareNostrum

• IBM BladeCenter JS20 Cluster, Myrinet
• Barcelona Supercomputer Center, Barcelona, Spain
• 27.91 TF/s, 4800 processors

Housed in a majestic 1920s chapel on the university grounds, MareNostrum-literally "Our Sea," a Latin term for the Mediterranean-has a dual purpose: to serve as a primary high performance computing resource for the European e-science community, and to demonstrate the many benefits of Linux on POWER in scale-out processing environments.



6. Blue Gene/L Prototype

• IBM eServer Blue Gene Solution
• ASTRON, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
• 27.45 TF/s, 12,288 processors

Unlike current observatories that use big optical mirrors or radio dishes to point to distant galaxies, Blue Gene/L will enable ASTRON to harness more than 10,000 simple radio antennas spread across the northern Netherlands and into the German state of Lower Saxony, and interpret them using high-speed calculations. LOFAR will detect radio waves that show us the universe as it was 13 billion years ago, when it first recombined into normal hydrogen from the hot ionized plasma of the Big Bang. Detailed maps should show the universe condensing into the first individual stars and the first pieces of galaxies.

7. Thunder

• California Digital NOW-Intel Itanium2 Tiger4 Cluster, Quadrics
• Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, USA
• 19.94 TF/s, 4096 processors

The Thunder Linux supercomputer supports Lawrence Livermore's national security and science programs in fields such as materials science, structural mechanics, electromagnetics, atmospheric science, seismology, biology and inertial confinement fusion.

8. Blue Protein

• IBM eServer Blue Gene Solution
• Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Ishikawa, Japan
• 18.20 TF/s, 8192 processors

The Computational Biology Research Center (CBRC) of The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) is using BlueGene/L to better predict tertiary structures and functions of protein molecules in research on protein structure analysis via molecular dynamics, on protein-compound docking, and so forth. This information is important to understanding how drugs interact with diseases.


9. EPFL Blue Gene — Blue Brain Project

• IBM eServer Blue Gene Solution
• Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Lausanne, Switzerland
• 18.20 TF/s, 8192 processors

The Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) Blue Brain Project marks the beginning of a long task to study how the mammalian brain works by building very large scale computer models. The project's first objective is to create a cellular level software replica of the neocortical column for real-time simulations. Over the next two years, scientists will create a detailed model of the circuitry in the neocortex - the largest and most complex part of the human brain. By expanding the project to model other areas of the brain, scientists hope to eventually build an accurate, computer-based model of the entire brain.

10. Red Storm

• Cray XT3
• Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, USA
• 15.25 TF/s, 5000 processors

Red Storm, an air-cooled supercomputer, was developed using mostly off-the-shelf parts. Its main purpose is to work for the U.S. nuclear stockpile: designing new components; virtually testing components under hostile, abnormal, and normal conditions; and helping in weapons engineering and weapons physics.

Advertisement

Share this Story

X
You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.
Loading