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Asus delivers supreme efficiency in a supercomputer

While it might not be so unusual for Asus to help deliver a computer that comes in at 52 on the list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, the same machine hits the top of the Green500 list for energy-efficient systems – which is interesting. KitGuru follows up on the special new machines being delivered to Germany and Saudi Arabia.

We at KitGuru love knowing more about the origin of words. In Arabic, the tip of the camel’s hump is called ‘Sanam’. But that is just the literal translation. Over thousands of years, it has come to stand for many positive things like performance and efficiency, because the humps on a camel are the indicator of how far it can travel without being refuelled. Nice.

Running at a tidy 421 trillion operations a second, the SANAM supercomputer consists of 210 servers, neatly arranged in a cluster, with 3,360 processor cores, 840 graphics processors and a handsome memory allocation of just under 27 TERABYTES. Yep. You read that right. TERABYTES.

What makes this impressive piece of highly-energy-efficient kit possible, is the ESC4000 technology from Asus that KitGuru first covered in April 2012, then went into more detail in May 2012.

The precise specifications needed to climb the Green500 list include:-

  • 210 ESC4000/FDR G2 computing nodes
  • 420 AMD FirePro S10000 dual-GPU modules
  • 420 Intel Xeon E5-2650 8-core processors

Tom Lin, General Manager for the Server Business Unit beamed, “ASUS brings its own research and development expertise to the table, and is committed to providing the best designs for scientific development, research, and applications”.

It's simply amazing how much power goes into a modern supercomputer

KitGuru says: Impressive stuff. Also, if we follow history at all, then ALL of this power will one day be available in the high street for £999. One day. In the meantime, you will need a multi-million dollar research grant and a lot of extension cables.

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