Electronic Design

Super Challenges Ahead For The World's Top Supercomputers

They're the fastest in the world--supercomputers, that is. Top500.org has released its biannual list of the world's 500 fastest supercomputers. IBM's BlueGene L beta System took the number one slot with a 70.72-Tflop/s Linpack benchmark performance. Installed at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, it will support the Stockpile Stewardship Program's mission to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile without underground testing. SGI's Columbia system, installed at the NASA Ames Research Center, was second with a 51.87-Tflop/s performance. Named after the space shuttle, Columbia will play a key role in NASA's "Return to Flight" program. Third place went to NEC's Earth Simulator supercomputer at the Earth Simulator in Yokohama, Japan, with a score of 35.86 Tflop/s. Used in climate studies, the Earth Simulator previously held the number one rank for five consecutive editions of the listing. For details, go to www.top500.org.

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