AMD Wins Supercomputer Race For Now With Jaguar

The TOP500 organisation has announced that the Jaguar is now the world's fastest supercomputer and is currently located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

The upgraded Jaguar mammoth - which is a Cray XT5 model - is powered by AMD's six-core Opteron server processors that will deliver up to 2.3 petaflops worth of theoretical peak performance and 1.75 petaflops on the popular Linpack benchmark.

Around 224,000 cores - 33700 processors - have helped the Jaguar surpass the Roadrunner, the IBM-built supercomputer, which had been remaining at the top spot for more than one year and was the first one to break through the one petaflop barrier.

Interestingly, the third fastest supercomputer, the Kraken, which is currently at the National Institute for Computational Sciences at the University of Tennessee, also uses AMD Opteron processors and has a top computational speed of 0.832 petaflop.

Roadrunner was built using Opteron and Cell processors and AMD is expected to extensively use dedicated ATI GPUs. Chinese-based Tianhe-1 for example uses more than 5000 RV770 GPUs (and as many Intel Xeon processors) that altogether reach 0.56 petaflop.

The TOP500 list of supercomputers is dominated however by AMD's archrival, Intel. But AMD will have a better chance next year when it will launch a new range of microprocessors, dubbed Magny-Cours, that will pack even more cores (8, 12 and 16 respectively) per CPU.

Our Comments

The list compiled show that Intel and IBM are still far more predominant that AMD. Yet this could all change over the next few years with sixteen-cores processors being released by AMD. These could help Jaguar surpass the four-petaflop barrier over the next two years.

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