IBM's success appeared to be at Hewlett-Packard's expense. Overall, 51.8 percent of the supercomputers on the Top500 list were IBM machines, up from 43.4 percent in November. HP still held second position, but lost some ground, with its share of supercomputers on the list falling to 26.2 percent compared to 34.8 percent in November. SGI stayed in third position with its share up somewhat to 4.8 percent versus 3.8 percent in November. Dell also improved its standing in fourth place, with its share growing to 4.2 percent versus 2.8 percent in November. NEC had fifth position in November with 2.4 percent, but could only muster 1.6 percent putting it in sixth place, while Cray garnered the fifth place this time around with a 3.2 percent share up from November's 1.8 percent when it was in seventh position. In terms of installed performance, IBM had a 57.9 percent share followed by HP with 13.3 percent and SGI with 7.45 percent.
"The first thing to recognize is that there's a certain ebb and flow in the Top500 list" as companies roll out new supercomputers to customers, said Ed Turkel, product marketing manager for HP's high performance computing (HPC) division. "If you look at where the high performance computer market is growing, it's not in capacity systems, it's at the bottom of the market" where servers sell for $250,000 and below.
Turkel cited recent figures from market research company IDC that gave HP 34 percent of HPC revenue for the first quarter of this year, five points ahead of IBM. "(IBM's) BlueGene systems are a very, very small part of a very, very small part of the HPC market," he added.
There was a substantial shake-up in the Top500 list with half of the top ten systems from November being displaced by newly installed systems and the last 201 systems from the November list being too small to be listed anymore.
Intel's processors powered 333 systems on the list. The company's Pentium 4 was used in 175 supercomputers and its Itanium 2 was in 79 of the systems. IBM's Power chips were used in 77 of the machines, while Intel's Xeon Extended Memory 64 Technology (EM64T) was used in 76 of the computers. HP's PA Risc processors were used in 36 systems and Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s Opteron in 25 systems.
In global terms, the U.S. is still by far away and the market leader with 294 of the top 500 supercomputers up from 274 in November. Japan had 23 systems, while systems elsewhere in Asia accounted for 58 supercomputers. In Europe, which had 114 of the fastest supercomputers, Germany now has the most systems, 40 compared to U.K.'s 32. Six months ago the situation was reversed with the U.K. as No. 1 in Europe with 42 systems compared to Germany's 35 systems.