IBM overtakes SGI in Top500 supercomputer list

IBM systems now power 141 of the most powerful 500 supercomputing sites in the world, putting IBM in the lead position for the first time in the Top500 list, an independently maintained list of the fastest-installed systems in the world.

IBM systems now power 141 of the most powerful 500 supercomputing sites in the world, putting IBM in the lead position for the first time in the Top500 list, an independently maintained list of the fastest-installed systems in the world, IBM announced on Friday.

The Top500 list will be released publicly this week at the Supercomputer '99 conference in Portland, Oregon.

IBM increased its number of Top500 installations by 36% over the last year from 104 to 141, taking it past Silicon Graphics Inc./Cray Research, which had led the Top500 list for the previous seven years it had been tabulated, according to information on the Top500 Web site.

All of IBM's Top500 sites were installations of RS/6000 SP parallel processing computers, which also are at the heart of the IBM "Deep Blue" chess-playing system, IBM notes.

SGI/Cray's Top500 installations fell by 27% from 183 to 133, and Sun Microsystems Inc. was ranked third with 113 sites, according to information on the Top500 site.

The latest Top500 List demonstrates the emerging number of supercomputers used in mainstream business, as 246 of the systems are used for commercial applications, IBM said.

In the previous Top500 list, released in June, the fastest computer in the world was listed as a 9,472-processor Intel-based system called Asci Red, installed at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This system rates at 2121 gigaflops (billion floating-point operations per second) in the Linpack benchmark.

IBM said it will deliver the fastest computer system in the world next year to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which will be capable of 10,000 gigaflops. A prototype of the ASCI White system has been delivered, and debuted at number 120 in the latest Top500 rankings, IBM said.

IBM, in Armonk, New York, can be reached at +1-914-765-1900 or at http://www.ibm.com/. The Top500 list can be found at http://www.top500.org/.

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