Green500 v3 ranks supercomputer energy efficiency

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Green500 v3 ranks supercomputer energy efficiency

IBM’s BladeCenter QS22 Cluster and the one-year-old Blue Gene/P have topped the latest edition of the Green500 List of the most energy-efficient supercomputers.

Released last month, the third edition of the Green500 List is said to demonstrate the rise of energy efficiency in supercomputer designs.

Nearly one in every three supercomputers on the Green500 List now achieves more than 100 megaflops/watt, whereas in the February 2008 edition of the Green500, only one in every seven supercomputers did.

The top-ranked Green500 supercomputer improved by 131 megaflops/watt since November 2007, whereas the bottom-ranked Green500 supercomputer improved by 0.39 megaflops/watt for a difference of three orders of magnitude in energy efficiency.

The Green500 List is intended to serve as a ranking of the most energy-efficient supercomputers in the world and as a complementary view to the Top500 List.

Roadrunner, the top-ranked supercomputer in the TOP500, is ranked third on the Green500.

“The Roadrunner supercomputer is akin to having the fastest Formula One race car in the world but with the fuel efficiency of a Toyota Prius,” said Wu Feng, an electrical and computer engineer in Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering and founder of the Green500.

“This achievement provides evidence that energy efficiency is becoming as important as raw performance for modern supercomputers and that energy efficiency and performance can co-exist,” he said.

“For comparison, the last two supercomputers to top the TOP500 are now No. 43 and No. 499 on the Green500.”

Three supercomputers surpassed the 400 megaflops/watt milestone for the first time.

All three machines are based on IBM’s BladeCenter QS22 chassis with the Cell processor, the processor that also serves as the basis for the Sony PlayStation 3.

Organisers of the Green500 list are welcoming further analysis of the data, and encourage use of the rankings to promote energy efficiency in high-end computing systems.
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