Big Blue Back in Benelux: with the installation of a 76 processor SP/2 just in time for this TOP500 list, IBM has taken the leading position in the Benelux, not only as the single largest installation, but also in number of installations (with 5 in The Netherlands and 2 in Belgium) and in total installed power. In Belgium, the IBM machines are the only ones that made it to the TOP500, and they both are at universities. In the Netherlands also industry has a few machines in the TOP500, although they are all owned by one company: SHELL, which has labs in Amsterdam and Rijswijk.
The traditional supercomputer vendors are loosing ground. Although Cray has been selling machines, they are not big enough to make it into the list. The research institute NLR has an NEC SX/4 on order, so they are expected to get a higher rating with the next list. Convex is back this time with an installation at SHELL, but in such a low position that it will possibly go out next time.
The Dutch National HPCN programme, which will be on its way soon, will probably also result in some more supercomputing power. It has, however, not yet been decided what kind of power and were it will be placed. The situation in Belgium stays disappointing. The two main reasons are that first there is no big industry that uses supercomputers and second it has been decided that there is no follow on to the national scientific supercomputer programme that has ended last year.