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Intel Gains in Fastest Computer List

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B | November 12, 2007 02:40 PM EST | AP

— IBM Corp. and Intel Corp. improved their standings Monday in the newest tally of the world's fastest 500 computers, a closely watched measure of progress in the industry.

The list, published twice a year by academic researchers, once again was topped by an IBM Corp. supercomputer in the Lawrence Livermore national nuclear lab. The BlueGene/L system, as it is known, was recently upgraded and showed the ability to perform at 478 teraflops _ 478 trillion calculations per second.

That's tens of thousands of times faster than your average desktop PC today.

The No. 2 performer was an IBM supercomputer in a German research center that came in at 167 teraflops. No. 3 was a 127-teraflop system made by Silicon Graphics Inc. for the New Mexico Computing Applications Center.

For the first time, India placed a machine in the top 10: a 118-teraflop Hewlett-Packard Co. system in a research center run by Tata Sons Ltd. in Pune, India.

IBM accounted for 46 percent of the computers on the list, while HP had 33 percent. That reversed the standing on the last list, in June, when HP became the leading manufacturer in the top 500.

Such turnover is common given the mind-boggling rate of improvement in high-performance computing. The system that ranked 500th in the world on the new list would have been good enough for No. 255 just six months earlier.

Intel chips are the processors in 64 percent of the machines on the list, the largest share that the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has ever had. Its main rival, Advanced Micro Devices Inc., showed up in 16 percent of the top 500, down from 21 percent six months ago.


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