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Microsoft Breaks Into Top 10 of World's Most Powerful Supercomputers

AUSTIN, Texas — Nov. 18, 2008 /PRNewswire/ — Today at the Supercomputing 2008 conference, Microsoft Corp. debuted in the top 10 of the world's most powerful supercomputers with Shanghai Supercomputer Center and Dawning Information Industry Co. Ltd., which ranked at No. 10 with 180.6 teraflops, the parallel computing speed, and 77.5 percent efficiency. A truly incredible achievement considering that 12 months ago in Reno, Nevada, Microsoft was at 116 on the Top500 list at Top500.org. This is on the heels of Windows HPC Server 2008 releasing to the manufacturing industry in September.

Reduces costs and complexity of high-performance computing

  • Windows HPC Server 2008 makes supercomputing more accessible to end users by allowing them to harness computing power through a familiar Windows desktop environment. It also reduces the complexity of Top500 runs and increases efficiency. Microsoft announces the availability of the Top500 Excellence Kit, which includes a Top500 guide containing best practices and internal knowledge from Microsoft developers on how to achieve the highest-efficiency LINPACK runs. As a part of the kit, Microsoft is including several management and performance tools used in its 180.6-teraflop run, a High-Performance LINPACK (HPL) Wizard that automatically tunes HPL for your cluster environment. More information is available at http://windowshpc.net/Resources/Pages/Programs.aspx.

A broad platform for software vendors and an expanded playing field for hardware manufacturers

  • Microsoft and Cray Inc. teamed up in September with an announcement to drive high-productivity computing further into the mainstream in a broad array of markets with the Cray CX1 supercomputer. Now they're giving one away! More information is available at http://www.superduosupersweeps.com.

Deep investments in HPC and commitment to driving innovation

  • Parallelizing code is not easy given that programming languages, frameworks, developer tools, and even the majority of developers have grown up in a largely serial age. So the software development industry is taking strides to make parallelism more accessible to developers, and Microsoft is leading that charge. With Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft is delivering the first wave of powerful developer tools such as Task Parallel Library, Parallel LINQ and Coordination Data Structures for managed code to ease the transition to parallel code. These technologies, along with MPI, MPI.Net and Cluster-SOA, extend parallelism to clusters of thousands of nodes using Windows HPC Server 2008. More information on taking parallelism mainstream is available at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/concurrency/default.aspx.

Executive Quotes


Vince Mendillo, director of the HPC Division at Microsoft:

"Beyond the top 10 number itself there are two things that are very impressive — Windows HPC Server 2008 worked at this scale, and we demonstrated that we have expertise inside Microsoft to lead the integration of a top 10 HPC system. We have come a long way in the past four years from building our first 10-gigaflop cluster to the top echelon of the world's fastest supercomputers."

Yao Jifeng, technical director of HPC at Shanghai Supercomputer Center:

With the adoption of Windows HPC Server 2008 for our Top500 run, Shanghai Supercomputer Center was able to accelerate the pace of technology innovation in China. Our growing partnership with Microsoft benefits the many colleges, universities, research institutes and corporations that are our customers."

Sha Chaoqun, vice general manager at Dawning:

"During our Top500 run we achieved 180.6 teraflops and 77.5 percent efficiency while using the familiar and intuitive Windows operating system. We chose to do the Top500 on Dawning 5000A run using Windows HPC Server 2008 for two reasons: performance and ease of use. Our growing partnership with Microsoft helps Dawning accelerate the pace of technology innovation in China."

Sash Sunkara, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies:

"We are pleased to partner with Microsoft to deliver the world-leading performance, efficiency and scalability of Mellanox InfiniBand while keeping the simplicity and the ease-of-use capabilities of Windows Server platforms. The tight integration of Windows HPC Server 2008 and Mellanox InfiniBand end-to-end hardware and software solutions not only enabled the tremendous performance achievement at the Shanghai Supercomputer Center, but also ensured the needed application productivity at scale."

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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Tina Couch
Microsoft
(425) 703-7185