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Jul 22 2008   8:17PM GMT

Supercomputers rank high on energy efficiency list

Bridget Botelho Profile: Bridget Botelho

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The third edition of the Green500 List includes more supercomputers than ever, showing that high performance can be achieved with power efficiency in mind.The first sustained petaflop supercomputer, IBM Corp.’s Roadrunner, the top-ranked supercomputer in the TOP500 list of supercomputers, also ranked third on the Green500 for its efficiency.

This proves that performance doesn’t have to come at a high energy price. Wu Feng, a member of both the computer science and the electrical and computer engineering departments in Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering and founder of the Green500, said in a statement that “energy efficiency and performance can co-exist…the last two supercomputers to top the TOP500 are now No. 43 and No. 499 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,” Feng said in the statement.

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

Also, 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.

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