London, Dec 17 (): A new energy-efficient supercomputer, which is regarded as the ‘ greenest ‘ of its kind, has been unveiled at Cambridge.
The supercomputer is named ‘Wilkes’ after computing pioneer Maurice Wilkes and the performance of the machine is equal to 4,000 desktop machines running at a time. It can single-handedly do what a few thousand desktop computers together can process over 137 million messages a second.
Wilkes is highly eco-friendly even though it has a massive 100 gigabytes per-second bandwidth which will help scientists test jet engines, design new drugs to fight cancer and examine the fundamental nature of the nucleus of the atom. Energy efficiency of Wikies is 3,361 Mega-flops per watt.
Dr Paul Calleja, Director of the Cambridge High Performance Computing Service said today, the energy-efficiency was the biggest single challenge in supercomputing and their new system makes an important step forward in that regard.
The new supercomputer has been graded second in the “Green 500″, a ranking of the most efficient supercomputers worldwide. The first placed supercomputer is built by a team in Tokyo and uses an oil-cooled system, while the second placed Wilkes uses air for its cooling system, making it the greenest machine of its kind.
The super computer is a huge, international effort to build the world’s largest telescope. By identifying radio waves with extraordinary sensitivity and reliability, the facility has the potential to answer some essential questions about the Universe, like what is the nature of dark energy, and the most fundamental question of all – are we alone?
Cambridge is leading the design of the computational platform within the SKA and the new super computer will play an integral role in this design process.
EDSAC, which was built in 1946, was the first programmable computer to come into general use. Maurice Wilkes was the man behind EDSAC, which put Cambridge at the forefront of the digital revolution.
Now, after more than six decades, this latest supercomputer, bearing Wilkes’ name, is meant to begin an all-new fresh chapter in that ongoing story.