With $100M Upgrade, Jaguar Set to Lead Top500

After a $100 million upgrade, Cray Inc.'s XT Jaguar supercomputer this week may displace IBM's Roadrunner as the fastest computer in the world.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced last week that the XT Jaguar, housed at its Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn., has hit a peak performance of 1.64 petaflops, or more than a quadrillion mathematical calculations per second.

Roadrunner had moved to the head of the Top500 list last summer after hitting a sustained speed of 1.026 petaflops last June, becoming the first machine to break the petaflop barrier.

The latest Top500 list, compiled by supercomputer experts throughout the world, is set to be unveiled this week at the Supercomputing Conference in Austin.

Jack Dongarra, a co-creator of the list and a distinguished computer science professor at the University of Tennessee, said that IBM's hybrid supercomputer has been updated since June, but he would not disclose Roadrunner's latest numbers. IBM declined to discuss the computer's performance.

Steve Scott, chief technology officer at Seattle-based Cray, said the Linux-based XT Jaguar now has 362TB of memory and a 10-petabyte file system.

The system consists of 284 cabinets, each of which can hold up to 192 quad-core Opteron chips from Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

Buddy Bland, project director for the National Leadership Computing Facility at Oak Ridge, said the upgraded system takes up about 5,700 square feet and has 6,000 miles of interconnect cables linking the processors.

This version of this article originally appeared in Computerworld's print edition.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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