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Cubic Centimeter Supercomputers

Cubic Centimeter Supercomputers

It’s no surprise any more that we expect computers to get both smaller and more powerful every year. Most sugar cubes measure about 1 cubic centimeter. Scientists at IBM are working on a cooling system that they think will enable supercomputing capability in a very small form factor.

Supercomputers the size of sugar cubes – [ibm.com]

Energy consumption poses a critical challenge in the development of next-generation supercomputers and IT systems. Within the next 10 years, IBM scientists and developers aim to build computers featuring exascale computing performance, but with an absolute energy consumption that is not much higher than that of today’s largest systems. Exascale computers are capable of reaching a performance of one ExaFLOP/s, which corresponds to 1018 floating point operations per second. This is about 300 times faster than today’s fastest supercomputer.

New water-cooling technologies that wick off heat right where it is being generated—directly at the chip—offer a promising route to boost significantly the overall energy efficiency of computers. At this year’s CeBIT, IBM is presenting its first so-called hot-water-cooled systems, which will provide a sneak preview of future innovations: Supercomputers the size of sugar cubes.

Supercomputers ‘will fit in a sugar cube’, IBM says – [bbc.co.uk]

A pioneering research effort could shrink the world’s most powerful supercomputer processors to the size of a sugar cube, IBM scientists say.

The approach will see many computer processors stacked on top of one another, cooling them with water flowing between each one.

The aim is to reduce computers’ energy use, rather than just to shrink them.

MADE IN IBM LABS: IBM Hot Water-Cooled Supercomputer Goes Live at ETH Zurich – [ibm.com]

ZURICH, – 02 Jul 2010: IBM (NYSE: IBM) has delivered a first-of-a-kind hot water-cooled supercomputer to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), marking a new era in energy-aware computing. The innovative system, dubbed Aquasar, consumes up to 40 percent less energy than a comparable air-cooled machine. Through the direct use of waste heat to provide warmth to university buildings, Aquasar’s carbon footprint is reduced by up to 85 percent.

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