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Biofuels computer

Published on December 29th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz

13

Argonne National Laboratory Debuts Energy Efficient 557 TFlop Supercomputer

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December 29th, 2008 by
 
computer

Argonne National Laboratory’s new Blue Gene/P high-performance computer runs at an awe-inspiring 557 teraflops (557 trillion calculations per second) and can wow the green crowd with its energy efficiency. The computer uses only 1 MW of power— about a third as much electricity as a conventionally built supercomputer of comparable size.

According to the Green500 ranking of supercomputers, Argonne’s Blue Gene/P’s energy efficiency averages out to over 350 million calculations a second per watt, making it the second most energy-efficient supercomputer in the world. In comparison, a household light bulb uses between 50 and 100 watts of power.

Blue Gene/P maintains its efficiency with the use of six air handlers that move 300,000 cubic feet of air per minute under the facility floor. Other supercomputer facilities use large air conditioners, but they require significantly more energy.

And since Argonne is a government facility, guess who reaps the benefits of its $1 million per year savings: the taxpayers.

Photo Credit: Argonne National Laboratory

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



  • Noah

    Nice to see that it has achieved a huge leap in power savings. Its a target I’d like to see in all consumer PC components, not just processors (I’m talking HDD’s and especially GPU’s).

  • Noah

    Nice to see that it has achieved a huge leap in power savings. Its a target I’d like to see in all consumer PC components, not just processors (I’m talking HDD’s and especially GPU’s).

  • david

    That’s not a picture from Argonne. That’s a photo of the Blue Gene/P at Julich in Germany.

    This is a picture of our Blue Gene: http://www.scidacreview.org/0802/html/news5.html

  • david

    That’s not a picture from Argonne. That’s a photo of the Blue Gene/P at Julich in Germany.

    This is a picture of our Blue Gene: http://www.scidacreview.org/0802/html/news5.html

  • Doug

    Wow! One step closer to Skynet!

  • Doug

    Wow! One step closer to Skynet!

  • Doug

    Wow! One step closer to Skynet!

  • Ariel Schwartz

    We aim to please :)

  • Joe Jance

    Wow, so I commented and the image already changed. That was fast!

  • Joe Jance

    You might want to actual scale that front-page image down. I see that it is much bigger than the HTML dimensions, and the file size is over 2 MB.

  • Joe Jance

    Wow, so I commented and the image already changed. That was fast!

  • Joe Jance

    You might want to actual scale that front-page image down. I see that it is much bigger than the HTML dimensions, and the file size is over 2 MB.

  • Joe Jance

    You might want to actual scale that front-page image down. I see that it is much bigger than the HTML dimensions, and the file size is over 2 MB.

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