Scientists at IBM speculate that the world’s most powerful supercomputer processors could shrink to the size of a sugar cube. They see many computer processors stacked on top of one another, cooling them with water flowing between each one. The plan is to reduce computers’ energy use, rather than just to shrink them. Most of the computer’s energy costs is in cooling, because computing power generates so much heat as a side product. Dr Bruno Michel and his colleagues have already built a prototype to demonstrate the water-cooling principle. Called Aquasar, it occupies a rack larger than a refrigerator.
In the past, computers were dominated by hardware costs. Future computer costs will hinge on green credentials rather than speed.”
In this special guest feature from Scientific Computing World, Robert Roe writes that software scalability and portability may be more important even than energy efficiency to the future of HPC. "As the HPC market searches for the optimal strategy to reach exascale, it is clear that the major roadblock to improving the performance of applications will be the scalability of software, rather than the hardware configuration – or even the energy costs associated with running the system." [Read More...]