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IBM Tops Green Supercomputer Ranking

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Which is the greenest supercomputer of them all? Well, unsurprisingly, it turns out to be a supercomputer from IBM

A new report has found that IBM is once again the top dog when it comes to energy-efficient supercomputers.

According to the latest Green500 list of the world’s most energy-efficient supercomputers, IBM once again leads the bunch. Indeed, IBM accounts for 18 out of the top 20 high-performance computers that are listed. IBM also occupies 69 of the Top 100 positions on this list.

The most energy-efficient big iron system in the world turns out to be an IBM supercomputer built at the Julich supercomputing centre in Germany, as part of a collaboration between IBM and an academic consortium of universities and research centres. It apparently produces more than 723 Mflops (millions of floating point operations per second) per watt of energy.

IBM couldn’t help gloating that the “non-IBM supercomputer” (basically a Cray machine) which this week topped the Top500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, was only placed 44 on the Green500 List, producing 253 Mflops per watt.

Meanwhile the IBM supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratories, currently ranked second on the recently announced Top500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, is also apparently the sixth most energy-efficient supercomputer in the world, capable of over 444 Mflops per watt of energy.

“Supercomputers can no longer focus only on raw performance. The era of simply adding more processors is coming to a close,” said David Turek, vice president of deep computing at IBM.

“Clients need to be able to run supercomputers anywhere, not only places that have cheap power,” he said. “As the Green500 proves, IBM has focused on this issue for some time and is well positioned to usher in performance breakthroughs along with efficiency gains.”