NNSA’s BlueGene/Q Ranked as Most Energy-Efficient Supercomputer

Press Release
Jul 7, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) BlueGene/Q, which will be deployed at NNSA’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in 2012 as Sequoia, has been listed on the bi-annual Green500 list as the world’s most efficient supercomputer. In addition, two supercomputers in the top 20 are housed at NNSA’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and 16 other computer systems housed at LLNL, LANL, and NNSA’s Sandia National Laboratories were also ranked in the Green500 list.

 “Energy efficiency is vital to NNSA as we continue to build a modern infrastructure that is smaller, safer, more cost effective and more programmatically effective,” said Don Cook, NNSA’s Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs. “I am proud of the work done by the men and women who work in NNSA’s Advanced Simulation and Computing Program, and I applaud their commitment to promoting energy awareness while being effective stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

As part of NNSA’s mission to ensure the safety, security and reliability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent, the Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) Program provides NNSA with leading-edge, high-end simulation capabilities through supercomputing. NNSA’s ability to model the extraordinary complexity of nuclear weapons systems is central to U.S. national security and essential to establish confidence in the performance of our aging stockpile without additional testing.

The Green500 has been compiled since 2005 by computer scientists and engineers at Virginia Tech to emphasize energy efficiency as an important component of supercomputing performance, in addition to speed as measured in floating point operations per second (FLOPS).

 The purpose of the Green500 is to provide a ranking of the most energy-efficient supercomputers in the world. For decades, the notion of performance has been synonymous with speed. This particular focus has led to the emergence of supercomputers that consume large amounts of electrical power and produce heat that requires extensive cooling facilities to ensure proper operation. The Green500 list encourages supercomputing stakeholders to create systems that are both cutting-edge and energy efficient.

To see the entire list, please visit: http://www.green500.org/lists/2011/06/top/list.php

To learn more about NNSA’s ASC Program, visit: http://nnsa.energy.gov/asc

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.