IBM Tops List of World's Most Energy Efficient Supercomputers

IBM Tops List of World's Most Energy Efficient Supercomputers

IBM supercomputers lead the Green500's latest list of the world's most energy efficient high-performance computers.

Versions of the company's prototype for the next generation Blue Gene/Q supercomputer hold the No. 1  and No. 2 spots in the Green500 list released late last week.

The compilers of the Green500, which is issued each summer and fall, rate high-performance computers according to mflops -- millions of floating-point operations per second -- per watt, a measure of the amount of computing power generated per watt of power consumed.

The IBM NNSA/SC Blue Gene/Q Prototype 2, which is to be used by two U.S. Department of Energy national labs, heads the roster with a rating of 2,097.19 mflops/W -- marking the first time that a supercomputer on the Green500 list exceeded 2,000 mflops/W.

The IBM NNSA/SC Blue Gene/Q Prototype 1 sits in the second slot on the list with 1684.20 mflops/W. The prototype led the Green500 list last November.

The fastest computer in the world, RIKEN's K computer, placed sixth in the list with a rating of 824.56 mflops/W.

Here is the Green500's Top 10 list for June 2011:

Click on the image for a larger view of the chart.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are scheduled to deploy the Blue Gene/Q (one is pictured below) in 2012. The two national labs worked closely with IBM on Blue Gene's design and influenced the system's soft- and hardware.

The Blue Gene/Q, called Mira, is a 10 petaflop system, meaning it can run programs at 10 quadrillion calculations a second. It is 20 times faster than the Blue Gene/P, called Intrepid, currently used by the Argonne National Lab.

According to IBM, six of the high-performance computers in the Green500's new Top 10 list were built using the company's high-performance computing technology, and the firm holds more than half of the top 100 spots in the overall roster.

The full Green500 list is available at

Image for photo illustration at top CC licensed by Flickr user
Argonne National Laboratory. Logo and inset chart from Green500. Inset photo from IBM.