Nvidia Tesla-Accelerated Supercomputer Sets Record in Energy Efficiency

Hybrid Supercomputer Sets New Energy Efficiency Milestone: 3150MFLOPS/W

by Anton Shilov
01/31/2013 | 11:50 PM



Italy’s supercomputer Eurora, which was built by Eurotech company and which is powered by Intel Xeon E5 “Sandy Bridge-EP” microprocessors, Nvidia Tesla K20 “Kepler” and Intel Xeon Phi accelerators, has set a new record for data center energy efficiency. The supercomputer also uses innovative hot-water cooling solution.

The Eurora supercomputer, built by Eurotech and deployed Wednesday at the Cineca facility in Bologna, Italy, the country's most powerful supercomputing center, reached 3150MFLOPS per watt of sustained performance, a mark 26% higher than the top system on the most recent Green500 list of the world's most efficient supercomputers. So far, Cineca has only evaluated efficiency of Nvidia Tegra K20 “Kepler” accelerators. Efficiency of Intel Xeon Phi will be evaluated at a later date.

Eurora is a prototype system developed for Cineca under the PRACE 2IP initiative to provide a sustainable, high-quality infrastructure to meet the most demanding needs of the European HPC user community. A commercial version of the Eurotech Aurora Tigon supercomputer is also available today from Eurotech. Cineca will deploy the Eurora prototype to advance research and discovery in the fields of computational sciences, including fundamental constituents of matter, condensed matter, astrophysics, the life sciences, and Earth sciences.

Eurora supercomputer consists of 64 compute nodes, each of which is equipped with two Intel Xeon E5 processors, two accelerator cards (Nvidia Tesla K20 [GK110 with 2496 stream processors, 5GB GDDR5, 1.17TFLOPS peak DP, 3.52TFLOPS peak SP] or Intel Xeon Phi), 16GB of memory, 160GB SSD, one Altera Stratix V FPGA, Infiniband QDR interconnect as well as 3D Torus interconnect.

Eurotech Aurora Tigon supercomputer features innovative Aurora Hot Water Cooling technology, which uses direct hot water cooling on all electronic and electrical components of the HPC system. The use of Aurora Hot Water Cooling technology reduces or eliminates the need for air conditioning in typically warm climates like Italy. The thermal energy the system produces can be used to heat buildings, drive adsorption chillers for air conditioning or generate tri-generation, the combined production of electricity, heating and cooling

"Advanced computer simulations that enable scientists to discover new phenomena and test hypotheses require massive amounts of performance, which can consume a lot of power. Equipped with the ultra-efficient Aurora system and NVIDIA GPU accelerators, Eurora will give European researchers the computing muscle to study all types of physical and biological systems, while allowing us to keep data center power consumption and costs in check," said Sanzio Bassini, director of HPC department at Cineca.