Green ‘supercomputer’ developed at Cambridge

An energy efficient ‘supercomputer’ which is as powerful as 4,000 desktop machines running at once has been developed at the University of Cambridge. Called ‘Wilkes’ after computer pioneer Maurice Wilkes, […]

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By Vicky Ellis

An energy efficient ‘supercomputer’ which is as powerful as 4,000 desktop machines running at once has been developed at the University of Cambridge.

Called ‘Wilkes’ after computer pioneer Maurice Wilkes, the new system has been rated second in the “Green 500”, a ranking of the world’s most efficient supercomputers.

It is the most efficient air-cooled supercomputer in the world today, as the first-placed machine used an oil-cooled system instead, according to its makers.

Dr Paul Calleja, Director of the Cambridge High Performance Computing Service said: “Energy-efficiency is the biggest single challenge in supercomputing today and our new system makes an important step forward in this regard.”

The computer system sits in a specially-made “green data centre” with efficient cooling and processing systems.

Wilkes’ energy efficiency is 3,361 Mega-flops per watt. “Flops” – or floating point operations per second – are a standard measure of computing performance.