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New ultra-efficient HPC data center debuts
Date:3/19/2013

summer of 2013.

In the spirit of overall energy efficiency, the Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor delivers on several fronts. According to Intel, it can easily port complete applications in a short time, so software engineers won't need specialized tools or new languages to support significant software packages. "Intel coprocessors also increase the efficiency of computer resource usage," said Stephen Wheat, general manager of high performance computing at Intel. "The methods of code optimization for Xeon Phi are identical to what one does to make the most of Xeon processors. Finely tuned optimizations for Xeon Phi almost always result in a better-performing source code for Xeon processors. As the optimized and tuned application is run in production, the achieved performance per watt on both Xeon Phi and Xeon processors allows achieving the results with the lowest energy use."

While some of the NREL HPC components may be off the shelf, the team is taking a different approach in cooling this supercomputer.

"In traditional computer systems, you have a mechanical chiller outside that delivers cold water into the data center, where air-conditioning units blow cold air under a raised floor to try to keep computer components from overheating," Hammond said. "From a data center perspective, that's not very efficient; it's like putting your beverage on your kitchen table and then going outside to turn up the air conditioner to get your drink cold."

"NREL's ultimate HPC system is currently under development and will be a new, warm-water cooled high-performance system," said Ed Turkel, group manager of HPC marketing at HP. "It will be a next-generation HPC solution that's specifically designed for high power efficiency and extreme density, as well as high performance things that NREL requires."

Starting this summer, NREL's HPC data center will require just over 1 megawatt of power to operate. "That's a lot of power; the heat dissipated f
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Contact: David Glickson
david.glickson@nrel.gov
303-275-4097
DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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