Herkules, the new number-cruncher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM in Kaiserslautern, is not only one of the fastest supercomputers in Germany, but also one of the most efficient. It handles processor-intensive tasks in areas such as simulated reality or computer-assisted engineering, processes seismic data for the oil industry, and calculates costs for automotive, engineering and textile companies.
Herkules “lives” in a new, energy-saving ITWM institute building. The building makes optimum use of daylight and solar heat. Instead of air-conditioning, it uses a smart ventilation system with integrated heat recovery. An efficient combined heat and power unit (CHP) supplies electricity, heating and cooling. For Dr. Franz-Josef Pfreundt, who is head of IT at the ITWM and was in charge of the building activities, the overall “green” concept had to include a low-energy computer center. Working together with computer manufacturers, Pfreundt combined particularly energy-efficient components to create the supercomputer, which has a total of 272 individual computers. These components include thrifty power supply units, power-saving dual-core processors, and device drives with a noticeably lower consumption. In addition, the number of memory modules per computer was reduced to four, which reduces the power requirement even further. “For example, we deliberately chose not to use the very fastest CPUs – microprocessors – for our computer, but those that yield the best performance per watt,” says Pfreundt.
Cooling the server rooms is another way of saving energy. Up to a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, the rooms are cooled directly with outside air. If it gets too warm, the CHP provides the necessary cooling via an absorption refrigerator. Conversely, on cooler days, the waste heat from the computers is used directly to heat the building. With Herkules, Pfreundt and his colleagues have shown that it is possible to build energy-saving supercomputers that nevertheless have tremendous computing power. At any rate, the Kaiserslautern facility has been assigned place 244 on the Top 500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers (November 2007). When it comes to the worldwide ecological rankings for supercomputers, Herkules is at place 48. The current winner is IBM’s BlueGene computer, which requires only one watt for 112 million calculating operations, or FLOPS. But Herkules is hard on its heels, with a handsome 100 million FLOPS per watt.
Press Office | alfa
Listening in: Acoustic monitoring devices detect illegal hunting and logging
14.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.
How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences