The Tokyo Institute of Technology teamed up with HPE to build what has been named the most powerful computer in the world. What’s more, the HPE SGI 8600 system is not an ordinary super machine, it is a machine designed with environmental sustainability in mind.
Climate change scientists have expressed concerns that computers continue to demand a lot of energy whilst in operation. Additionally, these devices have become so ubiquitous that it is difficult to find a home without a desktop or a laptop computer. In factories, industries, and big institutions mainframes are more likely to be found. Research institutions are likely to use both the main frame and super computers.
Compared to home computers, supercomputers are highly energy intensive and have been contributing to global warming. Aside from the energy needed to run supercomputers, these machines require a manufacturer to invest heavily in plastics and energy intensive metal pieces. Consequently, supercomputers have been identified by scientists as significant drains on resources.
Electrical Power Consumption
Traditional supercomputers have been shown to be heavily reliant on electrical energy. One of the reasons why research institutions choose super computers over small machines is that they are more powerful. They are capable of processing millions of instructions in split seconds. To do this, supercomputers demand a lot of electrical energy.
Aside from consuming a lot of electrical power, supercomputers produce a lot of heat. While the heat may not be significant as an isolated factor, supercomputers require big cooling facilities to keep the processor functional and maintain high performance. If you have ever used an overheating computer, you know that they tend to be poor in performance. In supercomputers, the problem can lead to data or financial losses.
Addressing this challenge requires innovative ideas whose implementation should not compromise the performance of the computer. Additionally, such innovation should not sacrifice the scale of the computers.
On June 19, 2017, during the ISC High-Performance Computing, HPE together with the Tokyo Institute of Technology accepted an award for solving this problem. The event which was held in Frankfurt, Germany recognised the two institutions for developing the world’s most power-efficient computer.
The computer referred to as HPE SGI 8600 system was first powered on at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. It got a number one ranking on the sustainability list, Green500. The list displays the leading 500 supercomputers in terms of their ability to utilize and dispense energy efficiently.
Aside from the sustainability aspects of the computer, it has been said to be the country’s most powerful supercomputer with artificial intelligence capabilities. Computer scientists have stated that the HPE SGI 8600 system will be used for complex and deep learning tasks that are necessary for the global efforts to develop a cure for cancer or solve climate change.
The green supercomputer is one of the greatest inventions of the 21st century as it gives hints of what the future of the computing world is all about. The award will go a long way in encouraging similar projects. We commend the team that developed the supercomputer for its hard and diligent work.
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