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Intel and HP to Build World’s Most Efficient Supercomputer

Techworld (09/11/12) Curtis Sophie

Researchers at Hewlett-Packard and Intel are developing an energy-efficient supercomputing system for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The system will be powered by a combination of current 32nm Xeon E5 processors and future 22nm Ivy Bridge processors, together with about 600 Xeon Phi co-processors. When fully operational, the system’s total peak performance should exceed one petaflop, making it the largest supercomputer dedicated solely to renewable energy and energy efficiency research. The installation will use warm water liquid cooling technology to maximize the reuse of heat. Excess heat from the system will be guided into neighboring offices and labs and sent to other areas of the NREL campus to reduce central heating costs. The cooling system should help the NREL facility to become the world’s most efficient data center, with a power usage effectiveness rating of at least 1.06. “At NREL, we have taken a holistic approach to sustainable computing,” says NREL’s Steve Hammond. “This new system will allow NREL to increase our computational capabilities while being mindful of energy and water used.” The system is scheduled for completion next summer.



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