IBM, Cray Dominate List of Top 10 Fastest Supercomputers

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2014-11-21

Twice a year, the high-performance computing (HPC) market gets a list of the 500 fastest supercomputers in the world, and there usually is a good amount of anticipation in the runup to the release of the Top500 roster. However, at the SC14 supercomputing show this week, the 10 fastest systems looked eerily like those on the list released in June. In fact, only the supercomputer—a Cray CS-Storm system for an unidentified U.S. agency at No. 10—was new. And still at the top of the list was China's massive Tianhe-2 supercomputer. The organizers of the Top500 list also noted the continuation of a slowing growth rate of performance in the supercomputing space over the past two years. That trend can be seen not only at the top of the list, but also in those systems at the bottom, they said. However, that should change over the next couple of years. The U.S. Department of Energy on Nov. 14 awarded $325 million to IBM, Nvidia and Mellanox Technologies to build two new systems that agency officials said will be five to seven times more powerful than current systems they will replace—which currently sit at No. 2 and 3 on the Top500 list.


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