Jun 182012

Unlike some doomsday movies where large supercomputers take over the world and in doing so drain the Earth’s energy resources so that only they can “live” and others must perish, the reality is that supercomputers are now getting more energy efficient.

In fact, six months ago some of the same Top10 supercomputers were less energy efficient than they are right now.

According to Techworld.com here is a short list of some of the most energy efficient supercomputers:

  • An Intel cluster with SandyBridge and MIC technology installed at Intel with 1176 MFlops/watt (number 150 on the list)
  • An Appro Xtreme-X SandyBridge-based cluster installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory with 1050 MFlops/watt (number 73)
  • A Chinese system called Mole-8.5 with nVidia accelerators with 919 Mflops/watt (number 21)
  • The Fujitsu K Computer at RIKEN with 830 Mflops/watt (number 2)

And they go on to say, “At the European Nuclear Research Organisation (CERN) near Geneva, for example, scientists often complain that power limitations are having a knock-on effect on the performance of their experiments.”

So, the future trend is not only for more powerful supercomputers but also ones that consumer less energy while doing all the heavy lifting that they need to do. In the next few years, I predict supercomputers will in fact be producing much more energy than they consume.  Or not.