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
Ariel Schwartz was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a contributor at Fast Company, Inhabitat, Triple Pundit, SF Weekly, and NBC Bay Area Online. 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.