Phew! U.S. regains #1 supercomputer spot in Top500.

There's relief at hand for nationalistic HPC-watchers. The latest Top500 list shows the U.S. back at #1, after trailing various Asian supercomputers. IBM's (NYSE:IBM) latest installation for the mushroom-cloud-computing folks at Lawrence Livermore is to blame, but Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) vows to catch up soon. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers ask if it can run Crysis.

Sequoia rack

By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: How to retrofy your Mac...

Mikael Ricknäs prefers his näme to be spelled right:

the U.S. Department of Energy's...Sequoia's 1.57 million processor cores can perform 16.32 petaflops. ... Sequoia is...powered by [IBM] Power BQC 16-core processors running at 1.6GHz. It runs Linux.


The latest list is a big win for the U.S. But it also marks a return of European systems. ... Europe has more supercomputers in the top ten than any other continent. ... Germany's SuperMUC [is] capable of 2.9 petaflops. ... In fourth place, it is the highest-placed system on the list to use Intel processors.


IBM and Hewlett-Packard continue to sell the bulk of the systems...[in] the Top500.   

Naveena Kottoor speaks speed unto nation:

The newly installed system trumped Japan's K Computer...which fell to second place. ... Sequoia will be used to carry out simulations...of aging nuclear weapons, avoiding the need for real-world...tests. ... Sequoia consumes 7.9 megawatts compared to the K computer which uses 12.6.


The list is published every six months by...Professor Hans Meuer and...Professor Jack Dongarra. ... The first computer to take the top position...was the CM-5/1024 in 1993. ... Sequoia is 273,930 times faster.   

Robert McMillan has more mind-blowing stats:

Livermore’s Sequoia supercomputer weighs about the same as 30 elephants, and it can do...16.3 quadrillion...calculations per second.


Sequoia was built by IBM...but Intel is now cooking up a new processor that’s specially made for supercomputers...named Xeon Phi...[it] will have more than 50 processor cores and should be capable of doing 1 trillion calculations per second.


Intel...sees this as a high-growth more and more companies start using supercomputer-type programming and gas exploration [etc.]   

And Jon Brodkin adds yet more:

[The] newly assembled cluster built with IBM hardware at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory...[spreads] 96 racks, 98,304 compute nodes...and 1.6 petabytes of memory across 4,500 square feet.


The system is capable of hitting more than 20 petaflops. ... It’s primarily cooled by water running through tiny copper pipes encircling the node cards. Each [of which] holds 32 chips, with each...having 16 cores.


Compute Node Linux is run on nearly 98,000 nodes, and Red Hat...runs on 768 I/O nodes. ... Sequoia uses IBM’s proprietary 5D optical network that provides 40 Gbps throughput. ... I/O nodes are connected to the file system via Infiniband and the management network uses Ethernet.   

Meanwhile, Sean Buckley reminds us why it's here:

Sequoia will help the [National Nuclear Security Administration] keep the US nuclear stockpile stable without resorting to nuclear testing; more computers, [fewer] explosions. We can't think of a better thing to do with 98,304 compute nodes, 1.6 million cores and 1.6 petabytes of memory spread across 96 racks -- can you?   



And Finally...
How to retrofy your Mac

[hat tip: Chris Gullo]

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