Wednesday, December 15, 2010

#CHIPS: "Three Reasons IBM Keeps Winning the Green500"

IBM keeps winning the Green500, a contest for the most energy-efficient supercomputer. There are three reasons IBM keeps winning, but the bottom line is that it is not cranking up clock speeds just to win the Top500, thereby increasing its energy efficiency ratings for the Green500. Look for IBM to win both the Green500 and the Top500 with the same supercomputer in 2011. R. Colin Johnson, Kyoto Prize Fellow @NextGenLog

IBM's Blue Gene/Q (pictured) houses thousands of processors in racks that are connected by high-speed optical interconnects to achieve peta-flops of performance. (Source: IBM).

Here is what Smarter Technology says about green supercomputers: The supercomputers of the world are not just competing on raw speed, but also in Green500, whose official metric is floating-point operations per second per watt of energy consumed (flops/watt). For instance, this year's winner—the IBM Blue Gene/Q—achieved 1,684 Mflops/watt, compared with the second-ranked system by HP, which used Intel's Xeon processors to deliver 948.29 Mflops/watt, making the Blue Gene/Q 77 percent more energy-efficient. Still in the prototype stage, when completed next year, the Blue Gene/Q is expected to top 20 peta-flops, making it 10 times faster than this year's winner of the Top500 list—giving the Blue Gene/Q a shot at topping both the Top500 and Green500 lists in 2011.
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