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  • Since 1993, the Top500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers has been released on a twice yearly basis, and has given the industry a view not only of what those systems are, but also overall trends in the high-performance computing (HPC) space. The most recent list was released Nov. 16 during the SC 15 supercomputing show in Austin, Texas, and it was a case of the more things change, the more they stay the same. There was little movement in the top 10—only two new supercomputers from the list that was released in July—but a lot of changes throughout the list. China's presence continues to grow; more systems are using accelerators for greater performance and power efficiency, and more compute cores are being crammed into them. Lenovo rises and IBM falls a year after Lenovo bought IBM's x86 server business. However, the overarching trend is that while the overall performance of systems continues to grow, the growth itself is still slowing, something that started happening several years ago. This eWEEK slide show takes a look at some of the trends found in the latest Top500 list.

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  • Server chips with the integrated accelerators initially will go to cloud-scale companies, an Intel executive says at the Structure Conference.

  • There wasn't much change at the top end of the latest Top500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers. There were only two new systems listed in the top 10, and overall, the twice yearly list's organizers said that the average performance of all 500 systems continued a slowing trend that started in 2008. Six of the Top 10 systems were installed in 2011 or 2012. Tianhe-2 was installed in 2013, and Trinity, Hazel Hen and Shaheen II in 2015. However, there were changes at lower levels of the list, including China's growing presence at the expense of the United States and Europe. In the top 10, China's Tianhe-2—which means "Milky Way"—supercomputer, housed at the country's National University of Defense Technology, retains its position at the top of the list, almost doubling the performance of Titan, which is No. 2. The two new systems in the top 10 are both based on Cray's Intel Xeon-based XC40 servers, and at the top of the list, four of the fastest 10 used either GPU accelerators from Nvidia or Intel's x86-based Xeon Phi coprocessors to help increase performance while holding down power consumption. This eWEEK slide show takes a look at those systems in the top 10.

  • At SC 15, five companies announce servers running on Cavium's ThunderX SoCs, while Applied Micro announces new interconnect for its X-Gene chips.

  • At the SC 15 supercomputer show, Intel officials talk about the growth of its HPC Scalable Systems Framework with Xeon Phi and Omni-Path Fabric.

  • In the latest Top500 list of the world's fastest systems, the number of systems in China grew from 37 in July to 109, surpassing Europe.

  • The partnership, announced at the SC 15 supercomputing show, is aimed at bringing acceleration technologies to mainstream data center workloads.

  • At the SC 15 show, the company will demonstrate the libraries that will improve the performance of applications running on 64-bit ARM systems.

  • CEO Paramesh Gopi says the X-Gene 3 chip will help drive ARM's efforts to take 25 percent of the server market from Intel by 2020.

  • The single-socket 13th generation PowerEdge systems come with Intel's latest chips and DDR4 memory, and complete the vendor's server lineup refresh.

  • The company's new Tesla GPUs and software will help organizations speed up innovation around artificial intelligence and machine learning.

  • NEWS ANALYSIS: FireEye's CEO blames a slowdown in business on the China-U.S. cyber-security detente. Is he right, and what are the implications of this?

  • The new offerings, which will integrate compute, storage and virtualization and run Nutanix software, will be available in the first quarter of 2016.

  • The new Silicon in Software initiative embeds data in memory security and data encryption functions onto the M7 processor.

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