green500.org – new supercomputing benchmark site

SC06 logoVia top500.org Blog:

There was a talk about HPC Power Consumption on SC06 during the BOF session; during this session they pointed out that there’s a Green500 list where supercomputers are not just benchmarked for their peak-power, but compared to the total power consumed. The whole thing isn’t new, it was already presented at HP-PAC, but it somehow was under my radar.

Interestingly they do not only compare FLOPS/Watt but also introduce a power-benchmark known from circuit-design, called the EDn-metric (“E is the energy being used by a system while running a benchmark, and D is the time taken to complete that same benchmark.”) and adapt that one even further to the so called ∂-metric, which gives the user the possibility to put more emphasis on either energy or performance[1]. The paper[2] also has a table comparing several cluster-setups with different benchmarks.

It was my opinion for a long time that clusters and supercomputer will have to be optimzed for a high performance/Watt and a low Watt/space since energy and space will become even more expensive in the future. I’m glad to see that serious people are investigating into that topic.

The more I read about SC06, the more i pity that I couldn’t make it. Maybe next year…

[1] R. Ge, X. Feng, and K. Cameron. Improvement of power-performance efficiency for high-end computing. In The First Workshop on High-Performance, Power-Aware Computing (HP-PAC), Apr. 2005.
[2] Sushant Sharma, Chung-Hsing Hsu, and Wu-chun Feng, Making a case for the Top500 list

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