Top500 List. These same GPGPUs are now used in a clear
majority of systems in the Green500 and Top500 Lists.
The proliferation of GPGPU efficiencies across more entries
offers some explanation for the decrease in average power
while performance continues to increase. But, these same
efficiency gains could be fleeting, and only time will tell if
the trends can continue.
So, the TSUBAME-KFC marks a significant increase in
infrastructure and system efficiencies. Liquid cooled systems
have come and gone since the early Cray supercomputers.
Such solutions are still members of an exotic class of machines. However, a shift in design mentality from building the
biggest systems to building the biggest systems possible within
a power envelope may make liquid cooling a more palatable
option to operators to better use the watts they are given.
Kirk W. Cameron is a co-founder of the Green500 List
and a professor of computer science in the College
of Engineering at Virginia Tech. He may be reached at
commodity parts for a relatively small total power footprint
(see total power in Figure 1). Furthermore, for the first time,
the average power of Green500 List systems has decreased
from the June 2013 List to the November 2013 List.
What does this all mean? The MFLOPS/watt metric of the
Green500 rewards both machines that drastically increase
MFLOPS (the numerator) and drastically decrease watts (the
denominator). In early Green500 Lists, much of the gains
came from large changes in MFLOPS with somewhat modest increases in power usage for a large power envelope. This
biased the top entries toward large, top-performing systems.
In more recent lists exemplified by the TSUBAME-KFC system, the bias seems to be shifting towards smaller commodi-ty-based systems within a smaller power envelope that make
progress in both performance and power efficiency.
More data is needed to ascertain whether this is a significant shift or just an anomaly in the current list. While
offload engines (e.g. NVIDIA GPGPUs) provided significant
efficiency gains in both performance and watts, they were
common initially only to the top performing systems in the
BP Opens Center for High-Perf Computing w/
world's largest supercomputer for commer-
Kristen Reyes, HP Servers
On October 22, BP
unveiled the world’s
for commercial research
in their new 3-story, 110K
sq ft data center, located
at their Westlake campus in Houston, TX. This
2. 2 petaflops supercomputer (one of the most powerful
systems deployed by a commercial entity) enables BP to
process and complete more precise images of the sub-surface, completing seismic imaging simulation projects
in a single day vs. years. Simply put, this supercomputer will help scientists to “see” more clearly what lies
beneath the earth’s surface, enabling safer and more
efficient research before drilling begins.
Of course, to interpret, model, analyze and visualize
this data requires massive processing power, along with
decades of experience.
HP and Purdue Celebrate
2 Key Milestones
Monika Gupta, HP Servers
Today, both HP and Purdue University as well as invited students, press, and executives celebrated two key milestones during
Purdue’s Homecoming weekend in
West Lafayette, Indiana.
First, Purdue announced a new
pilot program called Purdue
Pathfinder. As part of the program, Purdue students will get an
opportunity to work on campus in
HP’s satellite Discovery Lab. This
collaboration will allow students
to gain hands on engineering experience while still in school, stay on
the cutting edge of the fast paced
technology industry, and create future HP leaders. To
learn more about the program visit http://www.purdue.
Rachel Pereira, a senior
at Purdue University,
stands outside the new
HP Satellite Discovery
Lab — part of Purdue’s
program, which helps
students get well-paid
internships or part-time jobs in engineering and technology
areas. (Purdue University photo by Stephen