Force10 switches are in some of world's fastest supercomputers

* Force10 claims it provides communications for 41 of the top 500 supercomputers

Six of the 15 fastest supercomputers in the world use switching equipment from Force10 Networks.

In publicizing that fact, Force10 also noted that 41 supercomputers out of the Top500 List, the list of the 500 fastest supercomputers, are using the company's equipment.

The list is compiled twice a year, with the most recent version published last month. Making a strong debut at No. 2 is an IBM BlueGene/P system installed in Germany at the Forschungszentrum Jülich (say that 10 times fast). It achieved a performance of 167.3 teraflops, or trillions of floating-point operations per second.

It also happens to be energy-efficient, according to a new, separate list, the Green500, which measures computing performance per watt of power. The system ranks fourth on that list. According to this Computerworld article, it is the only system in the top 10 of both lists.

Force10's component in these supercomputers is the TeraScale E-Series family of switch/routers, providing the communications among the many smaller computers that typically make up a modern supercomputer.

The fastest supercomputer in the world, since 2004, is an IBM BlueGene/L System installed at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Lab in Livermore, Calif. According to, that system - which six months ago was operating at 280.6 teraflops - has recently been upgraded to a 478.2 teraflops system.

Force10 is behind three of the top six IBM BlueGene computers - the aforementioned German model, one at the New York Center for Computational Sciences at Stony Brook/Brookhaven National Laboratory (No. 10 on the list) and the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations at Renssalear Polytechnic Institute (No. 12). Plus, four of the five fastest Dell cluster computers use Force10.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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