After reading a perspective of the latest TOP500 Supercomputer List from @Chris P_Intel I took another look at the progress of the systems on the list shown above. The June 2009 list just released puts the RoadRunner supercomputer in the number one spot with 1105 TFLOPS. In June 2004, just five years ago, all 500 supercomputers combined summed to 813 TFLOPS, with the most powerful single system being the Earth-Simulator at 36 TFLOPS. So in just five years, a single supercomputer has become more powerful than the 500 most powerful supercomputers from June 2004.
Upon taking a closer look, I saw that RoadRunner was actually in the number one spot in June 2008 at 1026 TFLOPS. So the top supercomputer on the list in June 2008 was actually faster than all of the top 500 supercomputers combined from four years prior!
Ok, and going back to November 2005, it seems that the #1 system may have been more powerful than the sum of the top 500 supercomputers in November 2002. So perhaps we are down to three years…I haven’t verified exact numbers though. Has anyone officially tracked the record for how quickly the #1 supercomputer on the TOP500 list had achieved the performance of all of the supercomputers on a previous TOP500 list?