Italy sees two in top ten green supercomputer list

June 24, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
HPC5 and Marconi-100 in Italy are in the top ten green supercomputer list this year.
HPC5 and Marconi-100 in Italy are in the top ten green supercomputer list this year.

The resurgence of supercomputer technology in Japan has seen European system fall out of the top ten list of the most power efficient, green supercomputer systems. Just two supercomputers, both from Italy, are in the top ten most power efficient, and most powerful, such systems in the world. This compares to two from France and Spain last year.

HPC5 at EMI in Italy is used to model soil and rocks down to 15km in the search for il, but it is also being used for dynamic modelling of the Covid-19 proteins as part of the European EXSCALATE4CoV project.

The Dell EMC PowerEdge C4140 system uses Intel’s Xeon Gold 6252 24C 2.1GHz processor cores with NVIDIA’s Tesla V100 and Mellanox HDR Infiniband. The 669,760 cores use 2.2MW and deliver up to 51.7PFLOPS, making it the sixth most powerful machine on the planet and also the sixth most power efficient.

Eni is working with Cineca, a consortium of 70 Italian universities, eight research institutions and the Italian Ministry of Higher Education, which also has one of the HPC systems in the top ten.

The Marconi-100 at CINECA (above) ranks at 10 for power efficiency and 9 for performance. “To meet demand for more computing power, we refresh our HPC infrastructure every few years. However, as performance increases, so too does power consumption, which drives up energy costs,” said Carlo Cavazzoni, manager for HPC Development in the HPC Business Unit at CINECA.

The current HPC clusters have a power budget of over 3MW, so energy efficiency has been a key metric.

CINECA worked with E4 Computer Engineering and the University of Bologna, and in a PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe) project to provide the necessary processing power with the lowest possible energy consumption.

More on the green supercomputer list

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