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The Green500 List - June 2011

The Green500 List continues to highlight the rapid growth in efficiency of the largest supercomputers in the world and to drive energy efficiency in high-performance computing. After last year’s &quotYear of the Accelerator&quot the trend continues with 14 of the top 20 computers using either Cell or GPU accelerators. However, the trend of aggregating many low-power processors currently tops the Green500 with two versions of IBM Blue Gene/Q prototype supercomputers. In addition, the current fastest supercomputer in the world, the K computer, also uses this approach. For more details, please take a look at our press release.

Aggregating Many Low-Power Processors

Not just one, but two IBM Blue Gene/Q prototypes top this edition of the Green500. However, the Blue Gene/Q prototype at #1 on this list is different from the one that topped the last edition of the list in that it delivers significantly better performance with the same number of cores and only a marginal increase in power consumption. The end result is a MFLOPS/W rating of 2,097, the first supercomputer to surpass 2,000 MFLOPS/W. The fastest supercomputer in the world, the K supercomputer from RIKEN in Japan, also aggregates many low-power processors and is one of the greenest supercomputers in the world, coming in at #6 on the Green500. The other major advantage to this approach is the amazing performance efficiency achieved by these machines. Specifically 81.9% efficiency for Blue Gene/Q and 93% for K, far greater than the average of 67.7% achieved by the other machines on the list and even farther from the average of 47% achieved by GPU-accelerated machines.

Energy-Efficient Accelerators

The greenest accelerator-based supercomputer in the world is the DEGIMA Cluster, a self-built supercomputer from Nagasaki University in Japan. The DEGIMA Cluster is accelerated by AMD/ATI Radeon graphics processing units (GPUs) on a thrifty supercomputing budget of NZ$600,000 or approximately US$500,000. Six other accelerator-based machines round out the ten greenest supercomputers in the world - three with GPU accelerators (one more from AMD/ATI and two from NVIDIA) and three with IBM Cell-based accelerators.

Overall Highlights

  • The average efficiency of measured systems on the Green500 has increased from 230 MFLOPS/W to 256 MFLOPS/W, an improvement of 11%.
  • The efficiency of accelerator-based systems on the Green500 has improved 23% from 573 MFLOPS/W to 707 MFLOPS/W.
  • 70% of the 20 greenest supercomputers are accelerator-based.

The Green500 List

Listed below are the June 2011 The Green500's energy-efficient supercomputers ranked from 1 to 10.

Green500 Rank MFLOPS/W Site* Computer* Total Power
1 2,097.19 IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center NNSA/SC Blue Gene/Q Prototype 2 40.95
2 1,684.20 IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center NNSA/SC Blue Gene/Q Prototype 1 38.80
3 1,375.88 Nagasaki University DEGIMA Cluster, Intel i5, ATI Radeon GPU, Infiniband QDR 34.24
4 958.35 GSIC Center, Tokyo Institute of Technology HP ProLiant SL390s G7 Xeon 6C X5670, Nvidia GPU, Linux/Windows 1,243.80
5 891.88 CINECA / SCS - SuperComputing Solution iDataPlex DX360M3, Xeon 2.4, nVidia GPU, Infiniband 160.00
6 824.56 RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) K computer, SPARC64 VIIIfx 2.0GHz, Tofu interconnect 9,898.56
7 773.38 Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ) QPACE SFB TR Cluster, PowerXCell 8i, 3.2 GHz, 3D-Torus 57.54
8 773.38 Universitaet Regensburg QPACE SFB TR Cluster, PowerXCell 8i, 3.2 GHz, 3D-Torus 57.54
9 773.38 Universitaet Wuppertal QPACE SFB TR Cluster, PowerXCell 8i, 3.2 GHz, 3D-Torus 57.54
10 718.13 Universitaet Frankfurt Supermicro Cluster, QC Opteron 2.1 GHz, ATI Radeon GPU, Infiniband 416.78

* Performance data obtained from publicly available sources including TOP500