Of the 500 Fastest Supercomputers, 455 Run on Linux

Jun 03, 2010

Linux dominance helps out users, in the end.

The biannual list of the fastest supercomputers in the world was released at the beginning of June and unsurprisingly, the vast majority (91 percent, to be exact) run some form of the Linux operating system. The Linux Foundation's Amanda McPherson discussed the positive effect this statistic has on end users by citing that any improvements to Linux made by one of the supercomputer manufacturers got poured back into the kernel.

"Just remember that today's desktop PC was considered a super computer not long ago," McPherson added.

The United States lays claim to the highest number of supercomputers, along with the fastest supercomputer, the Cray XT Jaguar, which contains 224,162 processor cores and is capable of 1.759 peta FLOPS.

China increased its number of supercomputers to 24, tying Germany, while moving up to second place in performance behind the US.

IBM lead in market share with 196 supercomputers (39 percent of the market), while HP followed close behind with 186 units (37.20 percent).

Supercomputer performance is measured with the LINPACK Benchmark. This benchmark requires a computer to solve a dense system of linear equations and is scalable in order to optimize performance for a given system. In short, every system was tested under ideal conditions.

The BBC has provided a thorough visual aid for the list. The full list including every exhaustive detail can be found here.

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