IBM Roadrunner Beats Cray's Jaguar

According to the recently released list of the world’s Top500 supercomputers, the title of world’s fastest supercomputer goes to IBM’s Roadrunner, located at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The Los Alamos system, nicknamed Roadrunner, has hung onto its title as the world’s fastest supercomputer, a position that it first claimed back in June 2008. Since June, the supercomputer had received only slight upgrades, yet it was still able to edge out its competition this November with a speed of 1.105 petaflops/s under the Linpack benchmark application. Second place in the Top500 list went to Jaguar, the Cray XT5 supercomputer located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which achieved a speed of 1.059 petaflop/s. Both systems are operated by the U.S. Department of Energy, with seven of the top ten fastest supercomputers being located at U.S. Department of Energy facilities.

Third place in the Top500 list went to a system called Pleiades, a SGI Altix ICE system installed at NASA Ames in California, which reached a speed of 487 teraflop/s. The IBM BlueGene/L system, installed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, scored 478.2 teraflop/s for fourth place. Supercomputers today are roughly 1,000 times more powerful than they were ten years ago, with Roadrunner being the first system ever to break the petaflop/s barrier. To put petaflop speeds into perspective, a single petaflop/s is roughly the equivalent of combining together the computing power of 100,000 of the fastest notebooks on earth.

The Roadrunner was also the world’s first supercomputer to use a hybrid design, currently combining 12,960 IBM PowerXCell 8i CPUs and 6,912 AMD Opteron dual-core processors. The operating systems used by Roadrunner are said to be Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora, with the entire system draining about 2.35-megawatt of power. Roadrunner was primarily designed to ensure the safety and reliability of nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile by simulating how nuclear materials age. Other uses of Roadrunner include research into astronomy, energy, human genome science and climate change

  • Whats funny is in 10 years your standard notebook will have that processing power XD can't wait
  • Damn install seti@home on that thing and we'll find ET in like 2 days, then install fah for a cure to cancer by the end of the week... but who cares about that stuff when we've got new weapons to develop eh
  • fazers_on_stun
    Yeah, but will it play Crysis?? :)
  • ^ really... they need to straighten their priorities out... by the time nuclear material decays... like in 5000 years... we'll all be dead anyway so whats the point of simulating it... why not do stuff that can affect us now
  • Shadow703793
    ^Very true. F@H would benefit from this.
  • Pei-chen
    We really need to invest in non-weapon use of supercomputer power. Japan and European countries use theirs to simulate weather and earthquakes.
  • falchard
    Someone needs to build another AMD based Super Computer to keep AMD in business. Roadrunner and Jaguar accounted for 60% of AMDs sales this year.

    lol j/k. Notice how none of the super computers are Intel Based? Its cause AMD rulez.
  • @thogrom
    Actually, according to the article, if we presume that technological progress continues we may have desktops that reach these levels, since ten years ago their supercomputers were in teraflops and our current desktops can process in the teraflops (only with the help of high powered parallel processors, such as graphics cards/stream processors).
  • Oevre Clocker
    How does it feel to Pet a Flop
  • jamesl
    "The operating systems used by Roadrunner are said to be Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora,"

    so I guess it can't play Crysis