RS/6000 Soars Up Listing of Top Supercomputer Sites

IBM's RS/6000 SP continues to assert itself in the world of supercomputers, most recently posting double-digit growth on the Top500 list of the world's largest supercomputers.

The TOP500 is a list of the top 500 supercomputer sites in the world, according to Michael Maas, product marketing manager for IBM RS/6000 brand. The list is primarily comprised of business, educational and government facilities. Of the 500 companies that comprise the Top500, an RS/6000 SP is used at 118 of those sites.

Maas points out that 241 of the Top500 sites fall into the realm of business sites, while others fall into the areas of government institutions and educational facilities. Of those business sites, the RS/6000 SP is found at 78 sites.

Compiled by Manheim University (Germany) and Netlib (, a collection of mathematical software, papers and databases, the sites listed in the Top500 are ranked by their performance on the LINPACK benchmark, chosen because it is "widely used and performance numbers are available for almost all relevant systems."

Maas says the RS/6000 SP is inherently designed to perform well across a spectrum of sites because it was built to simultaneously target two application segments -- business, as well as scientific and technical. Maas attributes the RS/6000 SP's explosive growth to the system's combined ability to perform scientific and technical as well as business functions.

Despite the challenge of catering to two distinct markets, Maas insists IBM must continue to target both segments with the SP. "They have a synergy with each other," he says. "The scientific segment presents a strenuous workload [for the SP] and makes our development community reach. The business segment allows us to understand a broader market."

--L. Greenemeier