The new Top 500 Supercomputers list is out for 2006, and IBM claims the top three spots. Right behind IBM in spot #4 is the (now bankrupt) SGI, with their Itanium2-based Altix 3700. Indeed, Intel CPUs are inside the computers in spots 4 through 6, with two Itanium2 systems and a Xeon-based cluster. Rounding out the Top 10 is the Opteron, more IBM PowerPC, and a more traditional (at least for HPC, that is) NEC vector architecure.
As for the other 490 computers on the list, both Itanium and Xeon processor lines from Intel dominate the list with a combined 60.4 percent share of the entries (53 percent IA-32 + 7.4 percent IA-64). IBM’s POWER architecture trails distantly in the #2 spot with 16.6 percent, followed AMD’s Opteron coming in at #3 with 16.0 percent.
Here’s a handy breakdown of the Top 10 that I cobbled together for you:
(eServer Blue Gene Solution)IBM SoC design based on dual PowerPC 440 coresUSA: DOE/NNSA/LLNL2IBM BGW
(eServer Blue Gene Solution)IBM SoC design based on dual PowerPC 440 coresUSA: IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center3IBM ASC Purple
(eServer pSeries p5 575)IBM POWER5+USA: DOE/NNSA/LLNL4SGI Columbia
(Altix 3700)Intel Itanium2 @ 1.5 GHz USA: NASA/Ames Research Center/NAS5Bull SA Tera-10
(NovaScale 5160)Intel Itanium2 1.6GHzFrance: Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique (CEA)6Dell Thunderbird
(PowerEdge 1850)Intel Xeon @ 3.6GHzUSA: Sandia National Laboratories7NEC/Sun TSUBAME Grid Cluster
(Sun Fire X64)AMD Opteron @ 2.4 & 2.6GHzJapan: GSIC Center, Tokyo Institute of Technology 8IBM JUBL
(eServer Blue Gene Solution)IBM SoC design based on dual PowerPC 440 coresGermany: Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ)9Cray Red Storm
(Cray XT3)AMD Opteron @ 2.0GHzUSA: Sandia National Laboratories10NEC Earth Simulator
(NEC Vector SX6)NEC vector processorJapan: The Earth Simulator Center
The number of Itanium systems on the list actually shrank a bit from last year’s already fairly low count. Feel free to insert your own speculation about the impending demise of everyone’s favorite boutique research-project-turned-product-line, but beware that Itanium’s defenders have every possible Itanium-related sales number and statistic mapped to keyboard shortcuts in vi. Consider yourselves warned.