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Which Is the Fastest?

The latest version of the Top500 list of supercomputers is out. Still at the top spot is Los Alamos National Laboratory's Roadrunner system, which can do 1.105 petaflop/s and right behind that is still Oak Ridge's Cray XT5 Jaguar system, which can do 1.059 petaflop/s. But third place now goes to the IBM BlueGene/P system, JUGENE, at Germany's Forschungszentrum Juelich. Ars Technica points out that "Intel processors—including Itaniums—alone now account for over 79 percent of the CPU presence on the list."

At BBGM, Deepak Singh asks if the list will eventually become meaningless. "There is always room for massive floating point performance and certain problems for which you just need the kind of raw horsepower that the big iron provides. For others, we have a lot of resources that we can get our hands on," he says.