facebook rss twitter

AMD takes Top 500 supercomputer list by storm

by Sylvie Barak on 16 November 2009, 14:00

Tags: Opteron 146, Opteron EE, AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qauvj

Add to My Vault: x

Super results

AMD has topped the Top 500 supercomputer bi-annual list today, with four of the five top systems using its chips, including the world's number one system, the Cray XT5 "Jaguar".

Jaguar, of Oak Ridge National Labs, boasts almost a quarter of a million high-performance cores and delivers a theoretical 2.3 petaflops of peak performance and 1.75 petaflops on the Linpack benchmark.

The chip firm is also represented in Cray's other top three placement, the XT5 "Kraken" supercomputer from the University of Tennessee which, along with Jaguar, has been upgraded from quad to six-core Opteron processors.

A surprising entry for the firm can be seen at number five on the list, with China's "Tianhe-1" system from the Chinese National University of Defense Technology (NUDT).  

The machine doesn't boast any Opteron processors - favouring Intel's Xeon offerings instead - but does sport 5,120 ATI Radeon 4870 GPUs to give it a whopping 563.1 teraflops performance. The system boasts 1.2 petaflops peak performance overall, making it the world's highest performing GPU-based supercomputer to date.

AMD's Opterons also have a presence in former number one IBM system "Roadrunner".

But despite six-core Opterons leading the field in terms of Supercomputers, they may soon become obsolete as AMD pushes forward in its plans to deliver both eight and 12-core x86 processors from the Opteron 6100 Series - otherwise known as "Magny-Cours" - in the first quarter of 2010.

The company has boldly declared that Magny-Cours should afford users a 100 per cent increase in compute core density and multi-threading capability, with four channels of DDR3 memory, new power management and virtualisation features.

The firm is not stopping there, either. AMD says it is looking even further down the road to 2011, when its new "Bulldozer" architecture - featuring a brand new modular core design - should tip up to offer 16 dedicated cores and significant multi-threading capabilities.

According to John Fruehe, AMD's director of business development for the firm's server and workstation division, the upgrade path to Bulldozer will be "seamless and consistent" just like the upgrade from the older Barcelona quad-cores to the newer six-core Opterons was.

"The upgradability that AMD delivers is going to be repeated," said Fruehe who added he felt "real good about where we are from a product standpoint."