Heterogeneous Systems Re-Claim Green500 List Dominance
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - November 14, 2012 - The latest Green500 List was released today (http://www.green500.org/lists/green201211) 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.
Rounding out the top five systems are three other machines using GPU accelerators combined with traditional AMD or Intel CPUs. "Metaphorically, think of CPU-GPU systems operating like the human brain, where the CPU could be viewed as the left brain and the GPU as the right brain," says Dr. Wu Feng, founder of the Green500 List. "Each side of the brain is suited to process different types of tasks." In second place is the SANAM system from the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, an Intel CPU system that uses AMD's new FirePro S10000 GPU accelerators, and in third and fourth are the Titan and Todi systems by Cray that employ AMD