ORNL Supercomputer Goes Green

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been developing their super computer and it will be coming online in the next couple of years of so. It is anticipated that it will be the fastest computer in the world with a capacity to perform 300 million billion calculations per second. However that is only part of the anticipated thrills this computer developed by IBM will provide. It will also be known for its ability to be energy efficient as well. The designers would be shocked if this computer did not leave the smallest carbon footprint in history, a new era in going green at ORNL.


GPU Works Efficiently

When the supercomputer is rolled out for the world to see, the leadership of the Oak Ridge Computing facility believes that their creation will use much less power than any computer of this size ever seen before. It will be a hybrid super computer. The graphical processing units or GPU’s will be getting additional emphasis from the organization. This will allow the computer to produce accelerated computer functions while managing its power use much more proficiently than those CPU’s ever seen before.


New Cooling Technology Makes Green Easy

The normal CPU is reported to burn as much as 10-20 times more power than the GPU of this supercomputer. Nobody knows the exact ratio of the supercomputer being installed at Summit is protected by the Oak Ridge Lab’s nondisclosure agreement with IBM. One of the differences in this new computer is the reduced reliance on the use of giant chillers that are used to cool other supercomputers.

New technology is allowing this change. They are going to use e evaporative cooling rather than chiller to keep the computer cool. This new process of running cold water through cooling towers it will be kept cool by using evaporating water that brings the temperature down. This will be able to work efficiently for about 85 percent of the time and that will save a tremendous amount of energy. The system will only have to be augmented on the most humid days of the summer season. At those times they will be reliant on the existing chillers. It is important to lessen the amount of time the chillers are running because they use up about 25% of the power used in the facility.


New Features of the Supercomputer

There are a few new things, never seen before, that make the Oak Ridge Computer different than anything before. One of the most unique ones is to have ceiling connections to the new computer. In the past supercomputers used a floor that was raised and the power lines, chiller lines and connections to the internet and cabinet to cabinet connections came through the floor. The ORNL will provide connections from the ceiling into the new, vibrant facility.

This is the first computer to be built this way and it will provide a great learning experience for the next generation of computers that will come. They will be able to know if the ceiling connections will be more efficient and productive than the raised floors of the past. If for some reason they don’t work will or aren’t more efficient then they will be able to make appropriate adjustments. Going green is going to have an effect on the way computers are built for a long time to come.

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