Is it Time to Rethink Power and Efficiency for Exascale?

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Intel’s Winston Saunders writes that it may be time to rethink supercomputing metrics for Exascale. He proposes a new way to chart performance and power efficiency in terms of how far the current systems are today from the goal of 1018 flops at 20 Megawatts.

It remains to be seen how the Exascale challenge will be won, of course. New announcements of plans to improve systems are coming out regularly. Perhaps this approach, or one like it, which looks at both efficiency and performance in the nose-bleed range of supercomputing, will get us beyond looking at performance or efficiency separately and help us to understand which architectures, systems, and approaches are best closing the gap to the solution. And that ultimately will translate to a win for everyone.

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