German publication heise online is reporting that Jülich Supercomputing Centre has installed a 220 teraflop Blue Gene/P system, making it the most powerful supercomputer in Europe. The article also points out that since the machine uses a mere 500 kilowatts, the new Blue Gene/P is one of the most energy efficient computers in the world. (For comparison, the 500 teraflop Sun supercluster being installed at the Texas Advanced Computing Center will draw 2.4 megawatts — almost five times as much for just twice the FLOPS.)
The heise online article also points to a recent presentation given by Alan Gara, the chief architect for Blue Gene, who foresees a persistent supercomputing energy crisis in the years ahead:
Mr. Gara is convinced that it will be possible at some time between 2015 and 2020 to achieve peak performances of 200 petaflops per second, but that the machines capable of such feats will require 25 to 50 megawatts of energy. And this assessment already takes a 20-fold improvement in energy efficiency for granted.
Read the full story here.