Oak Ridge National Laboratory



Media Contact: Gregory Scott Jones (jones@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Three ORNL Supercomputers in Top 20 at SC11

Supercomputers at ORNL held three spots in the top 20 of the TOP500 list, released at the SC11 conference, where ORNL is an exhibitor (above).
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Nov. 16, 2011 — Supercomputers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory claimed three spots in the top 20 of the TOP500 list, high-performance computing's biannual rankings of the world's most powerful computers. The latest TOP500 tally was released Nov. 14 at SC11, high-performance computing's premier conference, in Seattle, Wash. The Department of Energy's Jaguar, a Cray XT5, ranked number 3; the National Science Foundation's Kraken, likewise a Cray XT5, came in at number 11; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Gaea, a Cray XE6, was at number 20. All of the systems share the laboratory's state-of-the-art, LEED-certified half acre high-performance computing facility, making ORNL home to the nation's most powerful computing complex.

"ORNL's mission has always been to stand up and support systems that enable scientific breakthroughs," said Jeff Nichols, ORNL's associate laboratory director for computing and computational sciences. "While we're proud of the TOP500 rankings, it is the science that has been achieved on these systems that serves as the true testament to computing at ORNL."

Jaguar is the DOE Office of Science's premier supercomputing resource, allowing researchers to make advances across the scientific landscape. The 2.33-petaflop system is currently being upgraded to its next incarnation, Titan. The new system will be nearly 10 times as fast as the current Jaguar and will allow DOE to continue to lead the nation in computational science.

Kraken, the NSF's largest system and the largest supercomputer managed by academia, retained its standing at number 11 with a peak speed of 1.17 petaflops. Managed by the University of Tennessee's (UT's) National Institute for Computational Sciences, Kraken is located at ORNL and is one of the integrated digital resources of the eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, the successor to NSF's TeraGrid project.

NOAA's Cray XE6 Gaea, or "Mother Earth" in Greek mythology, is on its way to achieving a peak speed of 1.1 petaflops through a series of upgrades. The existing and eventual systems provide the ideal platform for NOAA to run unprecedentedly complex climate simulations.

Ordering for the http://www.top500.org/lists/2011/11/press-release">TOP500 list, which is released twice a year and headed by UT's Jack Dongarra, is arranged depending on how systems perform on a benchmark known as High-Performance Linpack.