Livermore's Linux cluster is world's third speediest system

Livermore's Linux cluster is world's third speediest system

Federal supercomputers that assist cutting-edge research again dominate the list of the world's fastest systems, although the top spot still eludes the U.S. government.

The Energy Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory owns three of the six fastest supercomputers, and its Linux cluster ranks third fastest in the world, according to the results of a semiannual scoring of large systems.

The Livermore cluster, built by Linux Networx Inc. of Bluffdale, Utah, contains 2,304 2.4-GHz Intel Xeon processors and has 4.6T of RAM. The Multiprogrammatic Capability Cluster improved its performance on a standard benchmark to 7.6 trillion floating-point operations per second, up from 5.7 TFLOPS last year, to pass Livermore's classified IBM SP supercomputer among the Top 10 speediest systems.

Livermore also has a 6.6-TFLOPS IBM xSeries cluster with 1,920 2.4-GHz Xeon chips that placed sixth on the list.

Los Alamos National Laboratory's Q supercomputer, a Hewlett-Packard AlphaServer SC system, is the fastest in the United States with a benchmark performance of 13.9 TFLOPS.

The classified Los Alamos system remains outpaced, however, by the Earth Simulator in Yokohama, Japan, which at 35.9 TFLOPS has nearly as much processing power as the next four computers on the list combined.

An international committee of researchers from the United States and Germany released the Top 500 list today in conjunction with a conference in Heidelberg, Germany.

Several government supercomputers, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Frost and Snow systems for operational weather forecasting [see story at www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/22356-1.html], were not benchmarked in time for today's Top 500 ranking.

Overall, the U.S. government owns 98 of the 500 computers on the list. Thirteen other systems in the Top 500 are at research facilities that get significant federal grant money, including the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the San Diego Supercomputer Center.

To view the complete list, go to www.top500.org/lists/2003/06/.

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