Conference Paper

Green Supercomputing in a Desktop Box

Dept. of Comput. Sci., Virginia Tech., Blacksburg, VA
DOI: 10.1109/IPDPS.2007.370542 Conference: Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium, 2007. IPDPS 2007. IEEE International
Source: IEEE Xplore

ABSTRACT

The advent of the Beowulf cluster in 1994 provided dedicated compute cycles, i.e., supercomputing for the masses, as a cost-effective alternative to large supercomputers, i.e., supercomputing for the few. However as the cluster movement matured, these clusters became like their large-scale supercomputing brethren - a shared (and power-hungry) datacenter resource that must reside in a actively-cooled machine room in order to operate properly. The above observation, coupled with the increasing performance gap between the PC and supercomputer, provides the motivation for a "green supercomputer" in a desktop box. Thus, this paper presents and evaluates such an architectural solution: a 12-node personal desktop supercomputer that offers an interactive environment for developing parallel codes and achieves 14 Gflops on Linpack but sips only 185 watts of power at load - all this in the approximate form factor of a Sun SPARCstation 1 pizza box.

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