Most times when a supercomputer is in the news, it's for pure power. However, Italy's top supercomputer, the "Eurora," is in the news for a different achievement altogether. The Eurora has set a new world record for data center energy efficiency, with 3,150 megaflops per watt of sustained performance. That efficiency is a full 26% higher than the former system atop the Green500 list of the world's most efficient supercomputers. Video card giant NVIDIA is rather proud of Eurora's achievement, as the supercomputer uses 128 NVIDIA K20 Tesla accelerators combined with Eurotech's Aurora Hot Water Cooling technology. Eurotech's tech uses direct hot water cooling on all electronics and electrical components in order to keep temperatures in line.
Pairing the Tesla K20 accelerators with the Aurora Hot Water Cooling technology allows for a more efficient and compact build than air-cooled configurations. Energy bills could be reduced by as much as 50% and lower cost of ownership between 30 and 50% with the combination. NVIDIA estimates CO2 emissions can be dropped by as much as 1,500 tons compared to convential CPU-based systems. It can also eliminate the need for air conditioning, since 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."
The current Eurora supercomputer is a prototype system built for Cineca in Bologna, Italy, to "provide a sustainable, high-quality infrastructure" for the most demanding high-performance computing users. It'll be used to study "all types of physical and biological systems," and thanks to the energy efficiency record, power consumption and cost won't be an issue.