Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Wednesday July 02, 2014

Energy-Efficiency Lessons from Supercomputing Now Going Mainstream

Every six months, the gurus of the supercomputing community publish a list of the 500 most energy-efficient supercomputers in the world. It’s called the Green500 list. In the last few years, the most energy-efficient systems are being built with our GPU accelerators. In fact, the top 15 systems on the latest Green500 list use GPU accelerators at their heart. The latest list marks a new milestone. The use of GPU accelerators has now gone beyond supercomputing and research users to mainstream enterprises. The top 15 in the list includes the oil and gas exploration giant, ENI of Italy, and four financial institutions.

The enormous speed-ups of GPU accelerators over CPU-only systems offer research and enterprise data centers not just the ability to perform tasks that were not possible before, but also at an energy efficiency that dramatically lowers operational cost. Driving the trend is NVIDIA’s ongoing effort to push the envelope in both performance and energy efficiency. The Kepler compute architecture introduced last year provided a big boost in this area, delivering three times better energy efficiency than its predecessor. We expect future NVIDIA architectures will extend this lead.