The really new trendâ€"the one that just recently began and that will only accelerateâ€"is the increasing presence of game-oriented hardware on the list. At the top of the list is IBM's Roadrunner, which first rode the power of the Cell chip to the top spot in June. Roadrunner epitomizes both trends in that it combines a modified version of the processor used in the PlayStation 3 with AMD's Opteron. But the Cell isn't the only coprocessor on the list that has its roots in gaming.
An NVIDIA GPU has finally made its way onto the Top 500 list, in a 170 TFLOP machine based at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. The TSUBAME was upgraded recently with NVIDIA's Tesla S1070, a math coprocessor that's essentially a specialized version of the same GPU that the company sells to gamers. Like its gaming sibling, the Telsa is programmable with CUDA, and when paired with a general-purpose processor, it makes for a great, data-parallel, floating-point machine