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By | Ashlee Vance 28th June 2006 19:51

IBM and HP monopolize Top 397 supercomputers list

Filler makes a showing

The latest Top 500 list of super-computing wins for IBM and HP has been released. Okay, it's really meant to be the list of Top 500 supercomputers in the world by all vendors. In reality, however, the list has degraded into a showcase for the world's two largest server companies.

The glory days when SGI, Cray, Sun Microsystems, NEC, Hitachi, DEC and a host of others battled it out for computing supremacy have evaporated. Today we learn that IBM owns 48 per cent of the Top 500 supercomputers with 240 wins, and HP takes 31 per cent share with 157 wins. If you're keeping track, IBM's wins are up slightly, while HP's wins edged down slightly from the November 2005 list.

In a sign of the times, Dell actually stands as the third most prolific super-computing vendor with 4 per cent share and 22 wins. Hooray for the cluster.

The story with the top ten systems is much the same this time around as it was in November 2005. IBM embarrassed its competition.

IBM's mammoth 131,072 processor Blue Gene system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) remains the top supercomputer. And with three times the processors of the second place Blue Gene system at IBM's Thomas Watson Research Center that's hardly a surprise. A third IBM pSeries system is still the third Linpack dynamo and sits at LLNL as well.

IBM took four of the top ten systems.

The only major additions to the top ten spots came from Bull, which popped an Itanic-based system (Montecito-based) into the five slot, and Sun, which foisted an Opteron-based system into the seventh slot. Congratulations go out to the French government and to Sun for showing that it hasn't given up on high performance computing, as had been thought.

The most used chip on the Top 500 list remains Intel's 32-bit version of Xeon. Of course, AMD's Opteron made large gains, as it now powers 80 of the systems up from 55 in the last list. IBM's Power edged up from 73 systems to 83 systems, while Itanium drooped to 37 systems from 46. So much for swollen floating point units.

Have a gander at the Top 397 IBM and HP wins and filler here. ®

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