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PNNL supercomputer holds onto top-10 spot in new rankings

Northwest computer remains one of the world's fastest

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June 21, 2004 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. — Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's supercomputer has been ranked in the top 10 on the top 500 list of the world's fastest computers for a third consecutive time since the computer went online last year. The computer at the Department of Energy lab dropped four slots to No. 9 from a peak of No. 5 in last fall's rankings.

Scott Studham, PNNL associate director for advanced computing, said the drop did not come as a surprise and that he was pleased to remain in the top 10. The rankings were made public Sunday in Germany at an international computing meeting.

The list, compiled by Top 500 Supercomputer Sites, rated PNNL's Hewlett-Packard cluster of nearly 2,000 Intel-powered processors at 11.6 teraflops, or a trillion "floating point operations" per second, the standard used for measuring computational speed. (The complete list and more detailed ranking criteria are at

Such power is necessary for the supercomputer's 500 university and government-agency users, who run complex environmental, chemical and biological simulations. The supercomputer is housed at the W.R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, located at PNNL. For more information about the EMSL computing facility, see For more information about the supercomputer, see

Tags: Energy, Computational Science, EMSL, Supercomputer

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