PowerPC, chip of choice for super super computers


The Top500 list of super computers is out, and a few facts stand out. IBM crushes competition and adds up to a whopping 40% (approx) of the top 100 super machines. IBM has 184 supercomputers of all sorts on the list including clusters that use cheap Intel chips. (That’s down from 228 IBM super computers a year ago!) Power PC processor powers 25 of the Top 500 monsters, while Intel x86/Itanium processors are under the hood of 333 machines. In comparison, 3 super computers used PowerPC chips last year, while 284 machines used Intel chips. AMD chips powered 34 machines last year. Apple has one cluster – which uses PPC power. Its installed at Virginia Tech. Opteron powered Crays are back in the top 100, while SGI is still pushing Itaniums. AMD chips power 25 machines. Cluster – 304 in total – form an overwhelming majority when it comes to Top500. Clearly, the era of a dedicated processor for super computers is coming to an end. Press Release



Hi, It’s Obvious Intel is a large factor in the Super Computer world,
AMD who released the Athlon XP, which run very hot, push design limits to their end, and anyone who is in Electronics knows a device will deviate slightly from it’s original electrical characteristics when it is pushed, and in symmetrical multi-processing, deviations mean more obvious malfunctions.
Intel has had a history of properly rating processors,
and designing them to run at proper temperatures.
And now that the Intel Itanium Architechture is getting a faster FSB, performance and throughput will improve.

It is not at all surprising to me that intel is ahead of AMD here.

And IBM has also been in this game a while,
and is not only familiar with processor architechture but also very familiar with system architechture, (chipsets, devices and motherboards).

The power processors have been refined by ‘people in the know’. And even completely revamped for the ’64bit’ realm.

It is unfortunate there is not enough desktop base software for the power/G5 processors.

It will be interesting to see what Jobs has in mind for the Intel chip in the Apple world.

Om Malik

Once a chip reporter, always a chip reporter. i agree. should have focused on gige but left it for next week :-)


Isn’t this supposed to be the “broadband blog,” what’s with all the focus on processors? Isn’t it about the interconnects, man. It looks like GigE has gained some ground in terms of deployments, at the notable expense of Myrinet.

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