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Top 500 Supers: Moore's Law Is Alive and Well

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Retired Tech

Retired Tech

    Retired Staff

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The aggregate computing power represented by the current Top 500 list is now 4.9 petaflops, almost double from the 2.8 petaflops level in the June 2006 report. Just to get on the Top 500 list this time around, a supercomputer had to have more than 4 teraflops of computing power; only six months ago, the entry point was just over 2.7 teraflops and a year ago a system only needed 2 teraflops.

The Top 500 supercomputer ranking is put together by Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim, Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee. Dongarra invented a Fortran matrix math benchmark called Linpack many years ago, and the Top 500 ranks the unclassified supercomputers of the world using the Linpack test

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    Founder Geek

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True, transistors are still doubling roughly every 18 months. Too bad those extra transistors aren't translating into much of a performance improvement on the desktop. Most people don't need dual core CPU's and quad core will be mainstream soon. Too bad they have to cripple the clock speed to keep the thermal output low, and that most applications are not designed to take advantage of multiple core. Even those that are do not show linear performance increases like you do with clock speed improvements. It's a case of diminishing returns. Quad-core CPUs offer on average only a 10-15% performance improvement over dual-core. While requiring more power, more RAM, and more cooling.
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