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This is a rant about spin - Intel extends command in fast-computers tally

Posted: 06.18.08

The annual supercomputer conference was just held in Dresden Germany. At it they show off the top 500 supercomputers. Usually there are two or three new ones at the top and the rest shift downward till they fall off.

Look at how the AP reported this event:

Intel extends command in fast-computers tally
Associated Press 06.18.08, 9:14 AM ET

Microprocessors from Intel Corp. run more of the world's fastest computers than ever, according to a report released Wednesday that tracks progress in the computing industry.

The latest list of the world's 500 most powerful computers, published twice a year by academic researchers, shows that 75 percent of the machines are powered by Intel (nasdaq: INTC - news - people ) chips, up from 71 percent in November. Chips from Intel's main rival, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (nyse: AMD - news - people ), showed up in 11 percent of the top 500, down from 16 percent on the last list.

The fastest computer on the list is the $100 million "Roadrunner" machine built by IBM Corp. (nyse: IBM - news - people ) for the Department of Energy's nuclear lab in Los Alamos, N.M. Roadrunner is the first computer in the world to surpass a petaflop - 1,000 trillion calculations per second. It's more than twice as fast as the IBM machine that ranks No. 2 on the list.

IBM made an industry-leading 42 percent of the supercomputers on the list, but its overall count diminished slightly. Hewlett-Packard Co. (nyse: HPQ - news - people ) gained ground, with 37 percent of the fastest machines in the latest report.

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

Now look at the reality of it – Intel is in the bottom fourth of the top ten, and AMD is in the top half. So why does Intel get the headline? Why not AMD or IBM, or even Cray? Because Intel has 75 machines, each one of them slower than a new AIB from ATI or Nvidia?

Are the AP folks in love with Intel or just stupid?

Rank

Site

Computer

1

DOE/NNSA/LANL United States

Roadrunner - BladeCenter QS22/LS21 Cluster, PowerXCell 8i 3.2 Ghz / AMD Opteron DC 1.8 GHz , Voltaire Infiniband IBM

2

DOE/NNSA/LLNL United States

BlueGene/L - eServer Blue Gene Solution IBM

3

Argonne National Laboratory United States

Blue Gene/P Solution IBM

4

Texas Advanced Computing Center/Univ. of Texas United States

Ranger - SunBlade x6420, AMD Opteron Quad 2Ghz, Infiniband Sun Microsystems

5

Oak Ridge National Laboratory United States

Jaguar - Cray XT4 AMD QuadCore 2.1 GHz Cray Inc.

6

Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ) Germany

JUGENE - Blue Gene/P Solution IBM

7

New Mexico Computing Applications Center (NMCAC) United States

Encanto - SGI Altix ICE 8200, Intel Xeon quad core 3.0 GHz SGI

8

Computational Research Laboratories, TATA SONS India

EKA - Cluster Platform 3000 BL460c, Intel Xeon 53xx 3GHz, Infiniband Hewlett-Packard

9

IDRIS France

Blue Gene/P Solution IBM

10

Total Exploration Production France

SGI Altix ICE 8200EX, Intel Xeon quad core 3.0 GHz SGI