U.S. government owns seven of the 10 fastest computers

U.S. government owns seven of the 10 fastest computers

By Patricia Daukantas

GCN Staff

JUNE 8'The Energy Department still owns the three fastest computers in the world.

Federally owned computers captured seven of the top 10 spots on the latest Top 500 list of supercomputers, compiled by three academic researchers and released today at a computing conference in Germany.

The semiannual Top 500 list ranks supercomputers according to their performance on Linpack, a linear algebra program widely used as a benchmark for large machines.

As in past years, DOE's three classified supercomputers at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M.; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif.; and Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M.; were ranked first, second and third, respectively.

These supercomputers were built for the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative, a program for simulating the aging of nuclear weapons on massively parallel computers.

The world's fourth-fastest computer is a 1,336-processor IBM RS/6000 SP supercomputer that IBM Corp. is about to deliver to the Naval Oceanographic Office in Mississippi. NAVOCEANO operates one of the Defense Department's four Major Shared Resource Centers for high-performance computing.

Also breaking into the top 10 is an upgraded Cray T3E 1200 at the Army High Performance Computing Research Center in Minneapolis [see GCN story at www.gcn.com/vol19_no14/enterprise/2079-1.html].

In Linpack performance, that Army machine ties with one of two classified government computers in the top 10. The list does not attribute ownership of these classified computers to a specific agency.

DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee recently acquired an IBM RS/6000 SP that is now ranked the 11th-fastest computer in the world.

Nirvana, an SGI Origin 2000 machine that Los Alamos calls 'the nation's largest dedicated unclassified computing environment,' dropped from seventh to 12th place since the previous top 500 list came out in November 1999.

The complete list of the world's 500 fastest computers is posted on the Web at www.top500.org.





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