This report is a snapshot of the state of supercomputer installations in the world. It is based on the TOP500 list that was published in November 1995 and includes trends from the previous lists from June 1993 till November 1995.
Statistics on high-performance computers are of major interest to manufacturers, users, potential users, and decision makers in universities, government, and industry. These people wish to know not only the number of systems installed, but also the locations of the various supercomputers within the high-performance computing community, and the applications for which a computer system is used. Such statistics provide a better understanding of the high-performance market and can facilitate the exchange of data and software.
In the past, various system counts of the major vector computer manufacturers by continents and countries have been published. Such records have several limitations, however. The data was difficult to obtain, and often was not reliable. Most important, more extensive statistics (than simply a list of manufacturers' names) are now required because of the diversification of supercomputers, the enormous performance difference between low-end and high-end models, the increasing availability of massively parallel processing (MPP) systems, and the strong increase in computing power of the high-end models of workstation suppliers including symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) systems.
This report is meant as an interface between the TOP500 list and the reader who wishes more background information and explanation. Here various experts present detailed analyses of the TOP500 and discuss the changes that have occurred in the supercomputing market over the past year.
We plan to continue to update this report annually and to distribute it widely to the high-performance computing community. The first TOP500 Reports were covering the situation in 1993 and 1994.