Supercomputers ‘will fit in a sugar cube,’ IBM says
November 16, 2010 | Source: BBC News
A pioneering research effort could shrink the world’s most powerful supercomputer processors to the size of a sugar cube, IBM scientists say.
The approach will see many computer processors stacked on top of one another, cooling them with water flowing between each one.
The aim is to reduce computers’ energy use, rather than just to shrink them.
Some 2% of the world’s total energy is consumed by building and running computer equipment.
Dr Michel and his team have already built a prototype to demonstrate the water-cooling principle. Called Aquasar, it occupies a rack larger than a refrigerator.
IBM estimates that Aquasar is almost 50% more energy-efficient than the world’s leading supercomputers.
“We currently have built this Aquasar system that’s one rack full of processors. We plan that 10 to 15 years from now, we can collapse such a system in to one sugar cube — we’re going to have a supercomputer in a sugar cube.”