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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 "Year of the Accelerator" 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