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BMW opts for energy-efficient HPC

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BMW, the German motor car manufacturer, is to cut carbon emissions by 3,570 tonnes a year by moving some of its high-performance computing (HPC) applications to an Icelandic data centre. Crash simulations, aerodynamic calculations, and computer-aided design and engineering (CAD/CAE), all of which are critical to the design of BMW’s vehicles, will now be carried out at a data centre in Iceland run by Verne Global, a UK-based developer of energy-efficient data centres.

By moving ten of its HPC clusters (consuming 6.31 GWhr annually) from its German facilities to Iceland’s zero emission data centre, BMW will reduce annual carbon emissions by 3,570 tonnes - the equivalent of the carbon produced by burning 1.46million litres of petrol. The move will also reduce the cost of BMW’s HPC applications by as much as 82 per cent.

Currently in the first stage of development, Verne Global is constructing a 44 acre data centre on the former NATO Command Centre in Keflavik, Iceland, which will be powered using entirely renewable energy. ‘Companies are facing a mounting challenge to keep both their data-centre power costs and carbon emissions in check,’ said Jeff Monroe, CEO of Verne Global, ‘particularly those involving power intensive computing such as HPC. By moving its applications, BMW is showing there are alternatives available today that address the unpredictable and fluctuating power prices found throughout the world and simultaneously reduce their carbon footprint.’