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The Green500 List News And Submitted Items

Saturday, August 1, 2015 - 04:02

The Shoubu Supercomputer at RIKEN in Japan Captures the Top Spot of the Green500

Blacksburg, VA, USA; July 31, 2015 – The Shoubu supercomputer from RIKEN earned the top spot on the 17th edition of the twice-yearly Green500 List to claim the title of the “most energy-efficient (or greenest) supercomputer in the world.” The Shoubu supercomputer became the first and only supercomputer on the list to surpass seven gigaflops/watt (billions of operations per second per watt) milestone. This edition of the list also saw the first three supercomputers on the list -- Shoubu at #1, Suiren Blue at #2, and Suiren at #3 -- surpass the six gigaflops/watt mark.

The #1 Shoubu supercomputer at RIKEN is a heterogeneous one; that is, it is a supercomputer with two or more different types of “silicon brains.” Specifically, the Shoubu supercomputer consists of Haswell CPUs from Intel, new many-core accelerators from PEZY-SC, and an energy-efficient software design. The #2 Suiren Blue supercomputer at KEK is similarly equipped while the #3 Suiren supercomputer uses Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs instead of the Haswell CPUs. All three of these heterogeneous supercomputers were manufactured by PEZY Computing / Exascaler Inc.

Overall, heterogeneous accelerator-based systems continue to dominate the top places of the Green500. In the November 2014 edition of the list, the top 23 supercomputers on the Green500 List used accelerators; whereas with this edition of the list, the top 32 supercomputers made use of accelerators, a nearly 40% increase in such systems at the top of the Green500. Across both editions of the list, the accelerators come from four vendors (in alphabetical order): AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, and PEZY-SC.

Monday, November 24, 2014 - 00:56

Green500 presentations given at the 2014 conference on Supercomputing

Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 23:15

L-CSC Emerges as the Most Energy-Efficient Supercomputer in the World

New Orleans, LA, USA; November 20, 2014 -- A new supercomputer, L-CSC from the GSI Helmholtz Center, emerged as the most energy-efficient (or greenest) supercomputer in the world, according to the 16th edition of the twice-yearly Green500 list. The L-CSC cluster was the first and only supercomputer on the list to surpass 5 gigaflops/watt (billions of operations per second per watt). Like so many of the most energy-efficient supercomputers in the world over the past few years, L-CSC is a heterogeneous supercomputer that is powered by GPU accelerators, namely AMD FirePro™ S9150 GPUs. It marks the first time that a supercomputer using AMD GPUs has held the top spot.

In fact, the top three slots of the Green500 were powered by three different accelerators with number one, L-CSC, being powered by AMD FirePro™ S9150 GPUs; number two, Suiren, powered by PEZY-SC many-core accelerators; and number three, TSUBAME-KFC, powered by NVIDIA K20x GPUs. Beyond these top three, the next 20 supercomputers were also accelerator-based.

L-CSC achieved the first position on the November 2014 Green500 List with an impressive 5.27 gigaflops per watt. This system used Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs, AMD FirePro GPUs, and an energy-efficient software design to achieve this feat. TSUBAME-KFC, which was number one over the previous two editions of the Green500, came in third in this edition of the Green500. TSUBAME-KFC was the first supercomputer to have broken the 4 gigaflops/watt barrier. Finally, Suiren, a supercomputer from the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization/KEK in Japan, occupied the second spot between L-CSC and TSUBAME-KFC at 4.95 gigaflops per watt. Like L-CSC and TSUBAME-KFC, Suiren used Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs, but coupled them with many-core accelerators from PEZY-SC. These many-core accelerators consist of 1,024 independent processor cores.

Monday, June 30, 2014 - 16:20

The June 2014 release of the Green500 list shows an increasing trend of heterogeneous supercomputing systems at the top of the list. Now the top 17 spots of the list are occupied by heterogeneous computing systems, securing six more spots at the top over the previous list, a 55% increase. A heterogeneous supercomputing system is one that uses computational building blocks that consist of two or more types of “computing brains.” These types of computing brains include traditional processors (CPUs), graphics processing units (GPUs), and co-processors. Of the top 17 spots,

  • The first 15 systems are accelerated with NVIDIA Kepler K20 GPUs, coupled with Intel Xeon CPUs, including TSUBAME-KFC at number 1.
  • The number 16 system, Shadow, is accelerated with Intel Xeon Phi co-processors and coupled with Intel Xeon CPUs.
  • The number 17 system, SANAM, is accelerated with AMD FirePro S10000 GPUs, coupled with Intel Xeon CPUs

While the above results might lead one to believe that heterogeneous systems permeate throughout the Green500 list, they are only prevalent at the top end of the list. Of the 500 ranked systems, only 64 of them are heterogeneous while the other 436 are homogeneous and contain only one type of brain, that is, CPU brains. The total number of heterogeneous systems on the list remains relatively unchanged from the November 2013 list, as does their overall share of performance. The average energy efficiency of these systems, when measured in millions of floating-point operations per second per watt, or (MFLOPS/watt) is 1,938 MFLOPS/watt, whereas it is only 743.32 MFLOPS/watt for the measured homogeneous systems. As a result, heterogeneous systems dominate the top end of the list. So, perhaps the old adage of “two heads being better than one,” or in this case, “two types of computing brains being better than one” appears to hold.

Friday, January 31, 2014 - 14:35

Balaji Subramaniam and Wu-chun Feng.
In Proceedings of the International Conference on Performance Engineering (ICPE), 2013, Prague, Czech Republic.

Citations:  [ BibTeX   XML   PlainText ]

Friday, January 31, 2014 - 13:32

Balaji Subramaniam, Winston Saunders, Tom Scogland and Wu-chun Feng.
In Proceedings of the International Green Computing Conference (IGCC), 2013, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Citations:  [ BibTeX   XML   PlainText ]

Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 04:11

The November 2013 release of the Green500 list was announced today at the SC|13 conference in Denver, Colorado, USA. Continuing the trend from previous years, heterogeneous supercomputing systems totally dominates the top 10 spots of the Green500. A heterogeneous system uses computational building blocks that consist of two or more types of “computing brains.” These types of computing brains include traditional processors (CPUs), graphics processing units (GPUs), and co-processors. In this edition of the Green500, one system smashes through the 4-billion floating-point operation per second (gigaflops) per watt barrier.

TSUBAME-KFC, a heterogeneous supercomputing system developed at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TITech) in Japan, tops the list with an efficiency of 4.5 gigaflops/watt. Each computational node within TSUBAME-KFC consists of two Intel Ivy Bridge processors and four NVIDIA Kepler GPUs. In fact, all systems in the top ten of the Green500 use a similar architecture, i.e., Intel CPUs combined with NVIDIA GPUs. Wilkes, a supercomputer housed at Cambridge University, takes the second spot. The third position is filled by the HA-PACS TCA system at the University of Tsukuba. Of particular note, this list also sees two petaflop systems, each capable of computing over one quadrillion operations per second, achieve an efficiency of over 3 gigaflops/watt, namely Piz Daint at Swiss National Supercomputing Center and TSUBAME 2.5 at Tokyo Institute of Technology. Thus, Piz Daint is the greenest petaflop supercomputer on the Green500. As a point of reference, Tianhe-2, the fastest supercomputer in the world according to the Top500 list, achieves an efficiency of 1.9 gigaflops/watt.

Friday, June 28, 2013 - 11:52

BLACKSBURG, Va., June 28, 2013 -- Today’s release of the Green500 List ( shows that the top end of the list is again dominated by heterogeneous supercomputers, those that combine two or more types of processing elements together, such as a traditional processor or central processing unit (CPU) combined with a graphical processing unit (GPU) or coprocessor.

Two heterogeneous systems, based on NVIDIA’s Kepler K20 GPU accelerators, claim the top two positions and break through the three-billion floating-point operations per second (gigaflops or GFLOPS) per watt barrier. Eurora, located at Cineca, debuts at the top of the Green500 at 3.21 gigaflops/watt, followed closely by Aurora Tigon at 3.18 gigaflops/watt. The energy efficiency of these machines, manufactured by Eurotech, improves upon the previous greenest supercomputer in the world by nearly 30%. Two other heterogeneous systems, Beacon with an efficiency of 2.449 gigaflops/watt* and SANAM with an efficiency of 2.35 gigaflops/watt, come in at numbers 3 and 4 on the Green500. The former is based on Intel Xeon Phi 5110P coprocessors while the latter is based on AMD FirePro S10000 GPUs.

Rounding out the top five is CADMOS BlueGene/Q, which is based on a previously list-leading custom design of the IBM BlueGene/Q architecture with PowerPC-based CPU processors. In fact, the next swath of supercomputers down to No. 28 are dominated by IBM BlueGene/Q systems with one set at approximately 2.30 gigaflops/watt and another at approximately 2.18 gigaflops/watt. Overall, the greenest fifty systems are either heterogeneous systems, which incorporate accelerators (GPUs) or coprocessors, or custom BlueGene/Q systems. The exceptions are a pair of homogeneous systems at 40 and 41, which are the only homogeneous systems based on Intel’s new Ivy Bridge processors...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 12:32

Heterogeneous Systems Re-Claim Green500 List Dominance

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - November 14, 2012 - The latest Green500 List was released today ( and the top spots on the list have been taken over by machines that combine commodity processors with coprocessors or graphics processing units (GPUs) to form heterogeneous high-performance computing systems.

With all eyes on the new TOP500 number one system, Oak Ridge National Labs' Titan, it was a system belonging to a neighbor at the University of Tennessee that debuted at the top of the November Green500 List. The National Institute for Computational Sciences' Beacon system has set the new energy efficiency bar at nearly two-and-a-half billion floating-point operations per second (gigaflops) per watt. Employing Intel's Sandy Bridge series of Xeon central processing units (CPUs) and four of Intel's Xeon Phi coprocessors per node Beacon achieved a peak 112,200 gigaflops of performance running the LINPACK benchmark while consuming only 44.89 kW of power.

The Intel Xeon Phi--"Knights Corner"-- is a 22nm multicore coprocessor featuring the world's first 3D Tri-Gate transistors. Like its GPU counterparts, the Intel Xeon Phi resides on a PCI Express board that plugs into a machine's expansion slots.

Monday, September 10, 2012 - 10:16

Hello Green Community,

The website is now accepting submitted content, e.g., papers, presentations, story links, etc. If you have something related to energy efficient supercomputing, or anything related to green computing or green anything! please share it with us and we might share it with the world.

Submit an item today!

The Green500 Team

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