November 18, 2010 14:59 ET

World's Greenest Petaflop Supercomputers Built With NVIDIA Tesla GPUs

GPU Supercomputers Deliver World Leading Performance and Efficiency in Latest Green500 List

NEW ORLEANS, LA--(Marketwire - November 18, 2010) - SC10 -- The "Green500" list of the world's most energy-efficient supercomputers was released today, revealed that the only petaflop system in the top 10 is powered by NVIDIA® Tesla™ GPUs.

The system was Tsubame 2.0 from Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), which was ranked number two.

"The rise of GPU supercomputers on the Green500 signifies that heterogeneous systems, built with both GPUs and CPUs, deliver the highest performance and unprecedented energy efficiency," said Wu-chun Feng, founder of the Green500 and associate professor of Computer Science at Virginia Tech.

GPUs have quickly become the enabling technology behind the world's top supercomputers. They contain hundreds of parallel processor cores capable of dividing up large computational workloads and processing them simultaneously. This significantly increases overall system efficiency as measured by performance per watt. "Top500" supercomputers based on heterogeneous architectures are, on average, almost three times more power-efficient than non-heterogeneous systems.

Three other Tesla GPU-based systems made the Top 10. The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and Georgia Institute of Technology in the U.S. and the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Japan secured 3rd, 9th and 10th respectively. Tesla GPU-based systems also secured 11th, 12th and 13th; CSIRO in Australia, Tianhe-1A in Tianjin and Nebulae in Shenzhen, China.

The complete Top 10 list (with Tesla GPU-powered systems in bold face):

Rank Site Linpack Perf. # of Tesla GPUs Megaflops per watt
1  IBM Research  653 Teraflops n/a  1684 Mflops/watt
2  GSIC Center, Tokyo Tech  1.192 Petaflops 4200  948 Mflops/watt
3  NCSA  33.6 Teraflops 128  933 Mflops/watt
4  RIKEN AICS  58 Teraflops n/a  828 Mflops/watt
5  Forschungszentrum Juelich  45 Teraflops n/a  773 Mflops/watt
6  Universitaet Regensburg  45 Teraflops n/a  773 Mflops/watt
7  Universitaet Wuppertal  45 Teraflops n/a  773 Mflops/watt
8  Universitaet Frankfurt  94 Teraflops n/a  741 Mflops/watt
9  Georgia Institute of
 64 Teraflops 360  677 Mflops/watt
10 National Institute for Environmental Studies  74.84 Teraflops 320  636 Mflops/watt

Many of the leaders of those supercomputing centers recognized by the Green500 organization are present this week at the SC10 conference in New Orleans. They made the following comments:


Prof. Satoshi Matsuoka of Tokyo Tech said: "Our goal with Tsubame 2.0 was to deliver petaflop performance in as small a power envelope as possible. Moving to Tesla-based GPU supercomputers was the only way to achieve this."

Dr. Jeffrey Vetter of Georgia Tech and Oak Ridge National Laboratory said: "Keeneland is a proving ground for software development spanning research and industry. Through its use of GPUs and heterogeneous architectures, we are paving the way to energy-efficient exascale computing."

Dr. Gareth Williams of Australia's CSIRO said: "With the help of GPUs, we have succeeded in developing the fastest, most efficient supercomputer in Australia. With this kind of computational resource, we will be able to dramatically advance the pace of our research."

"The high performance per watt of Tesla GPUs has made them the architecture of choice for modern supercomputing, as evidenced by GPU supercomputers being the only petaflop-capable systems in the Top 10," said Andy Keane, general manager, Tesla business at NVIDIA. "We congratulate all the centers that have been recognized for their work in this year's Green500."

Weblinks to:

More information on NVIDIA Tesla high performance GPU computing products

Green500 site:

CSIRO "Green500" video:

Impressions from SC10 by Steve Keckler, NVIDIA Research:


NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) awakened the world to the power of computer graphics when it invented the GPU in 1999. Since then, it has consistently set new standards in visual computing with breathtaking, interactive graphics available on devices ranging from tablets and portable media players to notebooks and workstations. NVIDIA's expertise in programmable GPUs has led to breakthroughs in parallel processing which make supercomputing inexpensive and widely accessible. The company holds more than 1,600 U.S. patents, including ones covering designs and insights which are essential to modern computing. For more information, see

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    NVIDIA Corporation
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