ASUS System Named World's Most Efficient Supercomputer

Newcomer to the list, the system is deployed at German heavy ion research facility

John Rath

November 25, 2014

2 Min Read
ASUS System Named World's Most Efficient Supercomputer
The GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany, is home to UNILAC, or Universal Linear Accelerator. The machine is used in heavy ion research (Photo: GSI Helmholtz Centre)

November's Green500, latest release of the semiannual list of the world's most energy-efficient supercomputers, named an ASUS supercomputer at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany, as the most efficient.

The GSI Helmholtz Centre conducts research using heavy ion accelerators. Its L-CSC cluster (a newcomer to the list) achieved 5.27 gigaflops per watt (billions of operations per second per watt) to earn the title.

It was in 168th place on this month's Top500 list of the most powerful supercomputers. By comparison, China's MilkyWay-2 supercomputer that took the top spot on the recent Top500 list (its fourth consecutive time) logged 1.901.54 gigaflops per watt.

To accomplish its record 5.27 gigaflops per watt, the L-CSC system combined Intel CPUs, an FDR Infiniband network, and AMD FirePro S9150 GPU accelerators.

According to ASUS documents, the system uses 160 ASUS ESC4000 G2S supercomputer servers, 224 AMD FirePro S9150 dual-GPU modules, an array of 112 Intel Xeon E5-2690 v2 processors, and 896 16GB DDR3-1600 memory modules.

This marks the first time AMD GPUs are part of a system in the top spot on Green500.

The Tsubame-KFC, which held the number-one spot in the last two editions of the list dropped to third position. The system's gigaflops per watt record has improved slightly.

While Intel Xeon processors dominate the Green500 list, a variety of accelerators are prevalent as well. AMD FirePro GPUs, PEZY-SC many-core accelerators, and NVIDIA K20x GPUs are used in just the top three systems.

Massive power consumption requirements are a key point of any discussion of exascale computing -- the high performance computing industry's next big milestone.

Green500 representatives noted that if "L-CSC’s energy efficiency could be scaled linearly to an exaflop supercomputing system, one that can perform one trillion floating-point operations per second, such a system would consume on the order of 190 megawatts."

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