Italian Supercomputer Sets Efficiency Record
When it comes to measuring the performance of a supercomputer, we tend to focus on speed. But as these systems run hotter, and energy gets more expensive, we also have to focus on efficiency. Lucky for us, the companies that design these massive systems are already doing that.
Case in point: The Eurora supercomputer at the Cineca supercomputing facility in Bologna, Italy, has set a new record for data center energy efficiency. According to Eurotech, the company that built the system, it reached 3,150 megaflops per watt of sustained (Linpack) performance. That’s 26% higher than the top system on the Green500 list. (The current top-rated supercomputer is the The National Institute for Computational Sciences’ Beacon system.)
Eurora uses Kepler-based NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerators (128 of them) in combination with the Eurotech Aurora Tigon supercomputer. The Eurotech equipment utilizes hot water cooling technology, which uses direct hot water to cool all electronic and electrical components.
Each rack has two 2-in. pipes that act as inlets and outlets for the cooling liquid. The liquid is distributed to the different cold plates, utilized to directly cool the components. The cold plates are fitted to the distribution channels via quick disconnect hydraulic connectors. The coolant is collected from the cold plates into the outlet pipes, then sent through a heat exchanger to be cooled and returned to the racks.
Potentially, the technology can cut energy bills in half, and reduce total cost of ownership anywhere from 30 to 50%.
The Eurora system is available to members of the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) and major Italian research entities.