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Intel Inside Two-Thirds of the World's Fastest Computers
Posted Wed June 22, 2005 @05:14PM
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Hardware From increasing the accuracy of global weather forecasts to helping to improve the safety of manned space flight, the majority of scientists and engineers depend on Intel-based super computers more than any other computing system, according to the latest TOP500 list.

Issued today, the 25th Edition of the TOP500 list of super computers shows that 333 of the world's top 500 systems on the list have Intel processors inside. Five years ago only four systems on the list were Intel-based. Since that time, the number of Intel-based systems has increased steadily, to achieve the distinction as the most prevalent super computer architecture on the TOP500.

In fact, according to the just-released ranking, three Intel-based platforms ranked first, second and third in terms of the most popular super computing platform: Intel(R) Xeon(TM) processors and Intel Xeon processors with 64-bit extensions power 254 systems, more than any other single processor, followed by Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2 processors, which power 79 systems.


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More than half of the TOP500 systems are driven by Intel Xeon processors, making them seven times more prevalent on the list than the next closest x86 architecture-based systems. After launching only one year ago, 64-bit Intel Xeon processors are already used in 77 of the TOP500 computing systems.

"We're excited to see the broad scientific advancements being made across the hundreds of supercomputers now available to researchers on Intel standards-based server platforms," said Kirk Skaugen, general manager of Intel Corporation's Server Platforms Group. "Putting this kind of awesome computing power in the reach of universities, governments and businesses affordably and very quickly was a dream only a few years ago. Now, with every one of the TOP500 systems surpassing 1 trillion calculations per second in performance, I'd say it's becoming a reality."

The high-performance computing (HPC) community pushes the limits of engineering and scientific discovery, but computing technologies pioneered in HPC aren't just important to research labs. They can ultimately benefit people's everyday lives. Electromagnetic field simulation, computational fluid dynamics and finite element analysis are examples of technologies once considered the sole domain of supercomputers, but today they're used commonly by companies to design and produce products from potato chips to cell phones and automobiles.

As an example of how Intel supercomputing technology is used, NASA's Columbia supercomputer, based on Intel Itanium 2 processors and built by Silicon Graphics, remains among the top 10 systems on the TOP500 list. Columbia continues to be a key tool in NASA's program to return space shuttles and astronauts to flight.

The semi-annual TOP500 list of supercomputers is the work of Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim, Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, and Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee.

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