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News digest 29 June 2006
>PrimeurLive! from ISC2006 in Dresden
>Bringing the world to HPC
>Panel session on Petaflop Computing
>Cray's new systems Black Widow and Eldorado on schedule for availability in 2007
>How to call a Polish colleague when you are stuck in a traffic jam?
>Blue Brain Project to consolidate simulation of neocortical column into one model
>Promising but challenging tumour growth simulation experiments at TU Dresden
>The Grid
>Spicing up the use of federated Grids for computational biology
>Company news
>UK's EPSRC selects Cray to negotiate multi-year contract for HECToR procurement
>French Atomic Energy Authority's Tera 10 Supercomputer is Confirmed No.1 in Europe by TOP500's latest edition
>IBM dominates TOP500 supercomputer list
>Multiprocessor performance benefits of AMD Opteron recognized with long-term commitments by developers of world's 500 highest-performing systems
>Indiana University's supercomputer joins ranks of world's fastest
>Mellanox "InfiniBand accelerated" supercomputers continue rapid growth on distinguished Top500
>Myricom demonstrates low-latency 10-Gigabit Ethernet
>QLogic InfiniPath InfiniBand adapters to support OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution 1.0
IBM dominates TOP500 supercomputer list
Armonk 28 June 2006 IBM systems account for 240 of the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world and more than half the total processing power according to the just-released TOP500 supercomputer sites list. IBM's Blue Gene/L developed and installed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory tops the list with an unprecedented sustained performance of 280.6 Tflop/s.
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IBM's industry-leading performance was propelled by its strength across diverse computing platforms: including growth in the number of Blue Gene systems (from 19 to 24, compared with the previous list), AMD Opteron clusters (from 8 to 31), and System p-based machines (from 46 to 47) including the debut on the TOP500 list of the first announced BladeCenter JS21-based supercomputer - the 15 teraflop system at Indiana University, which is currently the largest university-based supercomputer in the United States.

IBM BladeCenter systems grew steeply, nearly doubling from 71 to 132 total BladeCenter-based systems in the time since the November 2005 TOP500 rankings. Blade-based systems accounted for over 470 teraflops of the June list's total performance. BladeCenter offers clients an innovative and high density computing solution with the ability to combine servers, storage, networking, and software all in one system.

"By giving our clients access to innovative, affordable and flexible supercomputing power like Blue Gene, POWER5-based p5 575 systems, JS20/JS21 Power-based BladeCenter systems and the Deep Computing Capacity on Demand Center, we are providing new resources to drive breakthroughs in business, science and industry", stated Dave Turek, vice president, Deep Computing, IBM. "Whether we are talking about improving the accuracy of weather forecasts, designing better automobiles or improving disease research, we are seeing the advent of a new supercomputing age."

Joining the Blue Gene/L system at Lawrence Livermore in the TOP500 list's top three slots are IBM's own Blue Gene/L Watson system at 91.29 Teraflops, and the recently upgraded ASC Purple supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, now with 75.76 Teraflops. Blue Gene/L and Purple are systems in the National Nuclear Security Administration's Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) Programme, which is dedicated to ensuring the safety, security and reliability of the nation's nuclear stockpile without underground testing.

IBM had more than 1.5 petaflops of the list's aggregate performance total of 2.791 petaflops, more than three times the total throughput of nearest rival, HP. IBM systems accounted for four of the top 10 machines on the list. IBM also had 46 of the top 100 systems.

In addition, IBM is debuting five new Blue Gene systems on the TOP500 List, including the three systems at KEK High Energy Accelerator Research Organization in Japan as well as the system at Forschungszentrum Juelich Laboratory in Germany - one which now stands at 8th on the list.

Since IBM announced the commercial availability of the IBM System Blue Gene Solution, a commercial version of the research project, in November 2004, a record number of 24 Blue Gene systems appear on the list. Based on IBM's Power architecture, the IBM System Blue Gene Solution is optimized for bandwidth, scalability and the ability to handle large amounts of data while consuming a fraction of the power and floor space required by today's fastest systems. IBM and its teammates are exploring a growing list of high performance computing (HPC) applications including life sciences, financial modeling, hydrodynamics, quantum chemistry, molecular dynamics, astronomy and space research and climate modeling for Blue Gene solutions.

Leslie Versweyveld

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