Slowly, but steadily Linux is making its presence in the top performing supercomputers of the world. Teraflop level Linux machines are becoming the norm and Linux commodity clusters are redefining high performance computing. This increases the relevance of both Intel and AMD against the established players such as IBM, Sun and Cray.
The growing number of Linux supercomputers is evidence of a significant shift for both the academic and commercial communities. Twice each year since 1993, the TOP500 (www.top500.org) supercomputer organization has published a list of the 500 most powerful computer systems based on the LINPACK performance benchmark that measures performance among all classes of supercomputers. While the Hewlett-Packard Superdome and AlphaServer, IBM SP and Sun Microsystems 15K systems continue to dominate the Top500 supercomputing list, there is also an increase in the number of Linux clusters. The highest ranking Linux system, at No. 35 on the Top500 list, is the University of Heidelberg Linux Cluster System (HELICS) running 825 Gigaflops and is based on AMD Athlon.
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