Its rise to the top of the list comes after it was able to break the
petaflop barrier last week. News.com reports that Roadrunner was able to
reach 1.026 petaflops, a bit over one quadrillion calculations per second.
The Roadrunner supercomputer dethroned IBM’s own BlueGene/L -- last year’s
most powerful supercomputer -- pushing BlueGene/L to the number two spot on the
list. BlueGene/L was able to reach 208.6 teraflops last year. This year it more
than doubled its performance to 478.2 teraflops, but was still unable to match
Roadrunner is based on the IBM QA22 blades that use an
advanced version of the Cell processor found in the Sony PS3. The processing
cores used in the Roadrunner are from AMD and make the machine the world’s
first hybrid supercomputer.
Roadrunner is comprised of 278 refrigerator-size server racks and has 6,562
dual-core Opterons. IBM is the manufacturer of 210 of the 500 supercomputers on
the Top500 list. Other well known makers with systems making the Top500 list
include HP with 183 systems on the list and its top performer taking the number
8 spot on the list.
Sun has its Ranger system on the list at number 4, the Jaguar from Cray is
number 5, Encanto from SGI is number 7, and Altix from SGI is number 10. Intel
is the dominant processor in the supercomputer market powering 75% of all
systems that made the Top500 list and 90% of ranked quad-core processor machines.
DailyTech covered the Roadrunner
supercomputer last week.