Opteron makes headway in supercomputers

Almost as if to detract from the launch of Intel's "Woodcrest" Xeons on Monday, the TOP500 project has released its latest list of the world's top supercomputers. The new list shows AMD's Opterons "steadily and rapidly gaining ground," the project says, with 81 of the world's top 500 supercomputers this year as opposed to just 25 last year. Meanwhile, Intel is down slightly overall from 333 systems last June to 301 today. The Itanium is likely responsible for most of those losses—CNet says the chip dropped from 79 systems last year to just 37 now.

On the manufacturer side, IBM has the lion's share of supercomputing behemoths with a whopping 243 systems out of the 500. That number includes the top three fastest machines, BlueGene/L, Blue Gene Watson, and ASC Purple. Behind IBM, the second biggest manufacturer is HP with 154 systems, while CNet says other manufacturers fail to surpass more than a handful of machines. Onto geography, 298 of the top 500 supercomputers are located in the U.S., 83 are in Europe, and 93 are in Asia. Europe and Asia have reversed positions since last November, when Europe had 100 machines and Asia had just 66.

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