From nowhere to dominance – Intel microprocessors powering Supercomputers


Intel microprocessors that were considered “tiny” computers for the “average” desktop users have been climbing steadily in their performance over the years. While in the early days Intel used to have “niche” processors exclusively for high-end numeric computing, their main-line processors have improved in their performance dramatically over the years. It is interesting to note that the share of supercomputers in the Top500 list (Starting 1993, the formal measurement of speed and declaration of the Super 500 Club (world’s largest super computers) has been systematized by Professor Hans Meuer of the University of Manheim in Germany, Horst Simon of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in Berkeley, California and Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee under the banner Super 500 (www.super500.org) has gone up to 333 in the current list!

It is interesting to note that this “holy grail” was dominated by Cray Computers and IBM / Fujitsu mainframes for decades.

In the 1996 list Intel had 28 entries in the Top 500 (3 in top 10 and 8 in top 100);

in the 1999 list Intel had slipped to 6 in Top 500 (1 in top 10 and 6 in top 100);

in the 2002 list Intel moved to 44 in Top 500 (1 in top 10 and 6 in top 100), and,

in 2005 Intel has a whopping 333 entries in Top 500 (2 in top 10 and 44 in top 100)!

“Micro” is by means “small”

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