Have we found a replacement for the Top500? Previously, the world’s most powerful supercomputers have been ranked by how fast they can perform operations. Now, a new ranking, dubbed the Green500 list, has re-ordered the Top500 based on how efficiently they use electricity to process data.
Kirk Cameron and Wu Feng from Virginia Tech University, USA, compiled the list by determining the number of operations that can be performed by the computer per Watt of power.
Compared to the Top500, the Green500 gives a very different picture of who owns the most powerful supercomputers. The Daresbury Laboratory of the US Science and Technology Facilities Council, which is currently at number 121 on the Top500, leads the list at 357.23 Mflops/W. The only computer that has made the top 10 in both lists is the Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ) in Germmany, which takes the fourth spot in the Green500, and is currently at number two on the Top500.
It seems that the computers that take the top spots have at least one feature in common. Of the top 27 in the Green500, 26 use IBM’s Blue Gene technology.