IBM re-takes lead in Top 500 computers
6/18/2012 3:00 AM EDT
Intel CPUs, Infiniband hold sway
IBM’s surge forward with BlueGene/Q on the current list came at Intel’s expense.
Intel continues to provide the processors for the largest share (74.2 percent or 372 systems) of top 500 systems. That’s down from 384 systems (76.8 percent) on the version of the list posted six months ago.
Intel’s Westmere processors made up the largest chunk of those CPUs, appearing in 246 systems, up from 240 in the last list. Intel’s newer SandyBridge chips jumped to use in 44 systems, up from ten six months ago.
AMD was the second most popular CPU vendor on the list with its Opteron family used in 63 systems (12.6 percent). Coming in a close third, IBM Power processors increased from the last list from 49 to 58 systems (11.6 percent).
Currently, 74.8 percent of the systems use processors with six or more cores.
The use of graphics co-processors continues to rise. Currently 58 systems use accelerators, up from 39 six months ago. Nvidia supplied 53 of them and IBM and AMD each supplied two systems. An Intel system became the first on the list to use the company’s new MIC co-processors now branded the Xeon Phi.
Thanks to a sunset for Gigabet Ethernet technology, Infiniband took a slight lead for the first time as a system interconnect. It was used in 208 systems, down from 209 six months ago, but GigE dove even further to use in 207 from 224 systems. InfiniBand-based systems now account for almost twice as much performance (31.5 pflops) than Gigabit Ethernet ones (13.3 pflops).
The average top 500 systems now uses 26,866 cores per system, up from 18,383 six months ago and 15,520 one year ago.
As for power consumption, 40 systems on the list now use more than 1 MW. Average power consumption is 671.3 kW, up from 634 kW six months ago and 543 kW one year ago.
The Top 500 list is compiled by Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim, Germany; Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. It was released at the 2012 International Supercomputing Conference in Hamburg.