The new Green500 list of the most energy-efficient supercomputers demonstrates some significant progress from last year. Thanks to the new manycore processors from Intel and NVIDIA that are starting to penetrate the top systems, performance per watt numbers are on the rise.
The Texas Advanced Computing Center in Austin has installed the world’s largest solar-powered HPC system. The 400 teraflop supercomputer, known as Hikari, is an HPE Apollo 800 cluster that uses technology supplied by Japanese green energy specialist NTT FACILITIES. In addition to taking advantage of Austin’s abundant sunshine, the power setup also employs high voltage direct power (HVDC) to further reduce energy consumption.
Aquila, a system provider based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has unveiled a new liquid-cooled server platform that offers one of the densest and most energy-efficient architectures in the market. The platform, known as Aquarius, uses a patented warm water cooling technology along with rack-level power distribution to minimize energy consumption and allow for very high levels of computational density.
The prospects for another serious rival to the x86 processor in the high performance computing space are looking much better this week after ARM Holdings presented the company’s plan to offer an HPC version of its 64-bit architecture. Known as ARMv8-A SVE, the design incorporates a technology known as the Scalable Vector Extension (SVE), which will provide a unique type of flexibility with regard to vector processing -- the basis of many scientific and engineering workloads.
The 19th edition of the Green500 was released today with the usual array of accelerated systems at the top of the list and a plethora of energy-sipping x86 clusters comprising the remainder. For the most part though, energy efficiency gains slowed over the past 12 months after chalking up some pretty impressive gains in previous years.
One of the most popular sessions at last week’s ISC High Performance conference was titled "Scaling Beyond the End of Moore’s Law," which was a series of three talks that delved into some of the technology options that could reanimate computing after CMOS hits the wall sometime in the next decade. The subject’s popularity is unsurprising, given that the supercomputing digerati that attend this event are probably more obsessed with Moore’s two-year cadence of transistor shrinkage than any other group of people on the planet.
There was a time when the only thing that the high performance computing industry paid attention to was FLOPS. Indeed, for most of the history of HPC, floating point operations per second was the one true metric, and only those machines that delivered them in the largest quantities were deemed to be true supercomputers. Performance, after all, is HPC’s middle name.
Cavium has launched its latest ARM server processor, the ThunderX2, a second-generation SoC aimed at the same datacenter workloads that are currently dominated by Intel’s Xeon CPUs. The new chip is designed to go head-to-head with those Xeons, while at the same time get out in front of the 64-bit ARM competition from Applied Micro, Broadcom, and others.
FRANKFURT, Germany; BERKELEY, California; BLACKSBURG, Virginia; May 6 – The ISC Group, promoter of the TOP500 list, is pleased to announce that the Green500 will be integrated with the TOP500 project as of today, hence streamlining all future submissions to be based on joint power submission rules. The integration follows nearly a decade of collaboration and several years of discussions between the two projects as well as with the Energy-Efficient High-Performance Computing (EE HPC) Working Group.