Vendors Clamor for Lead in Supercomputer Survey

Vendors Clamor for Lead in Supercomputer Survey

June 24, 2003

The TOP500, a semi-annual survey of the top 500 supercomputers ranked by their performance on the LINPACK Benchmark, was posted Monday.

Although IBM and Hewlett-Packard are duking it out for top honors, it was NEC that took the top spot place with its Earth-Simulator, a supercomputer with 5,120 processors installed in 2002 in the Earth Simulator Center in Japan.

IBM claimed the position of the world's leading provider of supercomputing power due to its total of 130 Teraflops of power (trillions of calculations per second), which represented more then 34 percent of the total processing power on the list.

According to Big Blue, its results were 44 percent better than those of HP, which finished second under this measurement, with 90 teraflops of total processing power.

IBM also boasted of holding 50 percent of the systems in the top 100 spots of the index, compared to HP's 9 percent.

HP for its part also claimed victory with 159 entries, more entries, it says, than any other vendor on the TOP500 list. HP also secured four of the top-10 spots. The other six spots were filled by Fujitsu, IBM, Linux Networx, and NEC. Big Blue occupied three of the top-10 spots.

This is the third consecutive list for which HP claims the greatest number of entries. On the previous list, published in November 2002, HP had 137 entries.

In addition to IBM and HP, vendors that occupy multiple spots include Cray, Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, NEC, SGI, and Sun Microsystems.

Jack Dongarra and Erich Strohmaier from the University of Tennessee and Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim have compiled and published the TOP500 since June 1993. High-performance computer experts, computational scientists, manufacturers, and the Internet users who responded to a questionnaire sent out, as well as parts of statistical lists published by others for different purposes helped with the rankings.