The Eurora supercomputer, installed at CINECA, was ranked 1st in the June 2013 Green500 chart, while the Aurora Tigon supercomputer installed at the Finmeccanica company Selex ES, a leader in electronic and information technologies, was ranked 2nd.
The combination of the energy aware Eurotech design and the high-performance efficiency of the NVIDIA® Tesla® GPU-accelerators, allowed the creation of the world’s most efficient supercomputers, with measured values of 3210 MFlop/s per Watt and 3180 MFlop/s per Watt for the 1st and 2nd Green 500 position respectively.
Eurora serves as the base technology for the development of the PRACE 2IP co-funded prototype, a project with the same name “Eurora” led by the CINECA supercomputing centre in Italy. CINECA deploys 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 in agreement and collaboration with the Italian academic research system, the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), the National Research Council (CNR), the International School for Advanced Study (SISSA ISAS) and the National Institute of Geophysics and Oceanography (OGS).
The Eurora co-designed production prototype is intended to progress in the optimization of the energy efficient high performance computing system towards the deployment of exascale computing system with a total cost of ownership affordable and sustainable.
“Advanced computer simulations that enable scientists to discover new phenomena and test hypotheses require massive amounts of performance. The scalability of the high energy efficiency is a fundamental problems to solve and we are proud of this initial outcome of ours R&D activity in collaboration with Eurotech and National Institute of Nuclear Physics - INFN” - said Sanzio Bassini, Director of HPC Department at Cineca - “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.”
The Eurora supercomputer ìs equipped with two Intel Xeon E5-2687W CPUs and two PCI-e connected NVIDIA Tesla K20 GPU accelerators based on the NVIDIA Kepler™ architecture. Direct water cooling and electronics design allow for very high densities to be reached with a peak performance of 350 TFlop/s per rack.
Built on a very similar architecture, the Aurora Tigon HPC system, a Eurotech COTS supercomputer installed in Selex ES, is used to accelerate computation in cyber security, speeding up the solution of open source analysis problems which help governments, defence and national security to prevent cyber-attacks. Recently, fields like IT security and surveillance have required growing computational power due to the complexity of modern networks and the sheer amount of data to analyse.
Entering the Green 500 in top positions, Selex ES proves to have put energy efficiency as a rationale in their IT purchase decisions, looking to reduce operating costs. Thanks to savings in energy and space, solutions like the Aurora systems can reduce TCO by an average of 30%-50%. Compared to a conventional air-cooled system, Aurora HPCs enable computing centers to save up to 50% on energy bills, while reducing space occupancy by 5 times due to higher density system configurations.
Eurotech (eurotech.com) contributes to add another 2 liquid cooled systems to the top Green 500 positions, emphasizing the “green” flavour of it, since a technology like the Aurora direct hot liquid cooling adopted by CINECA and Selex ES not only increases the energy efficiency of HPC machines, but also allows to drastically cut air conditioning needs, reducing costs and carbon footprint.
Speaking about “green” implications, the 100 TFlop/s Eurora system, when compared to an equivalent performance air cooled system, brings a reduction of more than 2,300 tons of CO2 emissions per rack in 5 years. In addition, the water heated up in the Aurora systems can be re-used to heat buildings, drive adsorption chillers for air conditioning or allow for trigeneration, the combined production of electricity, heating and cooling.