Top 10 Supercomputers, Illustrated, Nov. 2011 (Continued)

We continue our illustrated review of the top finishers in the latest Top 500 list, which was released Monday at the SC11 conference in Seattle. “This is the first time since we began publishing the list back in 1993 that the top 10 systems showed no turnover,” said TOP500 editor Erich Strohmaier, who will lead the discussion at SC11. See part one for images of the five most powerful machines. We continue at number six.

CIELO, Los Alamos National Labs

The new supercomputer named Cielo, the Spanish word for sky, will support all three national laboratories at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), including Los Alamos, Sandia, and Livermore. Cielo is the next generation capability class platform for the Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) program. Cielo’s architecture is based on Cray’s next generation “Baker” architecture with AMD’s new Magny-Cours processor, Cray’s “Gemini” high-speed interconnect and Compute Node Linux operating system.

PLEIADES, NASA Ames Research Center

Pleiades, a supercomputer at the NASA Ames Reseach Center in Mountain Vew, Calif., achieved a LINPACK benchmark of 1.09 petaflop/s), Since June 2010, NASA has implemented a series of expansions to the system’s performance capabilities, adding 14 new SGI Altix ICE 8400 systems so that Pleiades now contains 23,296 Intel Xeon quad- and hex-core processors (111,104 cores in 182 racks). Pleiades is used to meet the computing needs on NASA’s most demanding modeling and simulation projects in aeronautics; Earth and space science; exploration systems and technologies; and future space operations.

HOPPER, NERSC at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs

Hopper is named for American computer scientist Grace Hopper, and now powers science research at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center’s (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs. Hopper is powered by the Cray XE6 system. A pioneer in the field of software development and programming languages, Hopper created the first compiler. The Hopper system clocked in at 1.05 petaflop/s.

TERA-100, CEA, France

A cool shot of the Tera-100 supercomputer, a Bull-powered system at the French atomic energy agency.

Tera-100 is now Europe’s most powerful supercomputer. The system resides at the Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique (CEA), where it supports the French nuclear weapons simulation program. era 100 consists of 4,300 bullx S Series servers, which were introduced by Bull in April 2010. It features 140,000 Intel Xeon 7500 processing cores, 300TB of central memory and a total storage capacity of over 20PB.

ROADRUNNER, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Roadrunner

When the Roadrunner system at Los Alamos first appeared at the top of the June 2008 TOP500 list, it was the world’s first supercomputer to achieve a top performance of more than 1 petaflop/s (1015 floating point operations per second). It has now slipped to seventh place in the latest survey.