There is a lot of activity — and a lot of hype! — today around the ways in which vendors and large supercomputing centers are trying to reduce their power usage while still getting useful work done. But there is only so much you can do adapting today’s technology, and to truly transform our approach to energy use in HPC we will need new technologies for operations and instrumentation, control system software, operating systems, job schedulers, computational algorithms, chip design, networking, and in many other areas.
In this episode we talk with companies and supercomputing centers at the forefront of thinking today about the new technologies we’ll need tomorrow. In our conversations we touch on the full spectrum of green technologies, from “bits to buildings” as Horst Simon says. On the buildings side of the spectrum we talk with our guests about local power generation and integrated approaches to work scheduling that incorporate knowledge and power rates and datacenter hot spots, integrated monitoring, and allocating user time in kW-hours instead of CPU hours. On the bits side we talk about evolutions of today’s processor architecture, the likelihood of a return to custom processors for HPC, and technologies for the rest of the computer that will provide us both the opportunity — and the challenge — to completely rethink the way we structure algorithms.
This is the final episode of the Green HPC podcast series, and in it we look at what the future may hold.