In March 2010, a team of fifteen University of Illinois and NCSA computer scientists including professors, graduate students, and undergrads set out push the limits of energy efficiency in cluster computing. Toward this goal, we collaborated with NVIDIA’s Sean Treichler to design a 128-node cluster that uses commodity hardware and NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs). Earlier this fall, we constructed and benchmarked the cluster for efficiency and performance.
The jury is still out as to where the our new 128-node cluster ranks on the Green500, which is a list of the world’s most efficient clusters and supercomputers. The Green500 rankings are slated to be announced at the the upcoming Supercomputing conference.