World’s greenest supercomputer powered by Intel and Nvidia silicon

Supercomputers can also be green, and the new Eurora supercomputer is the greenest of them all, topping the Green-500 list for performance per watt.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

It’s not just PCs and tablets that are going green, even supercomputers are having their power requirements slashed. A new supercomputer based in Italy now claims to be the greenest in the world.

Called Eurora, it claims to be able to crunch its way through 3,150 megaflops per watt. Compare this to the Beacon supercomputer at the National Institute for Computational Sciences and University of Tennessee, is the current leader of the Green-500 list, which only manages 2,499.44 megaflops per watt.

Image source: Eurotech/Nvidia.

Europa was developed by Eurotech, and is controlled by the non-profit consortium CINECA, a group made up of 57 Italian universities and institutions. The project is based on Eurotech's Aurora node hardware. The supercomputer is made up of 64 nodes, with each node consisting of a pair of Intel Xeon E5-2687W processors, two Nvidia Tesla K20 GPU accelerator cards, an Altera Stratix V FPGA, 16GB DDR3 RAM, and a 160GB solid-state drive.

Eurotech claims that each node, which is about the size of a notebook, is capable of 1,700 gigaflops per second. Each of the nodes is 30 times more powerful that a regular desktop PC, yet 15 times more power efficient. 

Eurotech uses a unique liquid cooling systems which allows for a more compact design, packing in 256 Tesla K20 accelerators and CPUs in a single rack while delivering 350 teraflops of peak performance.

Image source: Eurotech.

A single rack would be ranked among the top 100 supercomputers in the world, according to the latest Top500 list.  With only nine racks, the system would deliver over 3.1 petaflops of performance, placing it in the top 10 of the most powerful supercomputers.

Over the supercomputer’s five year lifespan, Eurotech estimates that Cineca will save 2.5 million kilowatt-hours in energy, which translates into a saving of $500,000, while also eliminating over 1,500 tons of CO2.

Editorial standards