A new supercomputer built by IBM for Los Alamos National Lab topped the latest list of the world’s 500 fastest computers.
Other IBM machines were the second and third faster, and IBM computers accounted for more than 40 percent of the entire list.
Built for the National Nuclear Security Administration, the New Mexico machine can perform more than a quadrillion calculations per second or 1.02 petaflops. It is powered by IBM PowerXCell 8i Cell Broadband Engine processors – derived from chips that power today’s most popular videogame consoles — and 6,562 AMD Opteron Dual-Core processors.
This “hybrid” architecture, which optimizes the strength of multiple types of processors, is an IBM hallmark. The design is analogous to that of a hybrid car with similar benefits. For example, if the NNSA supercomputer were built with standard x86 chips alone, the system would have been significantly larger and would have required much more power.
The No.2 fastest computer in the world is an IBM Blue Gene/L system at NNSA’s Lawrence Livermore National Lab in California, which clocked in at 478 teraflops Team Blue Gene also held the No.3 spot with a 450 teraflop performance from the Blue Gene/P system housed at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Lab in Chicago.