Power-efficient Supercomputer: A catalyst for the Internet

It was not spoken in the Generation Greta is still around, the Internet drags a Rußspur behind. A Mail, for example, is not only a communicative but also a phys

Power-efficient Supercomputer: A catalyst for the Internet

It was not spoken in the Generation Greta is still around, the Internet drags a Rußspur behind. A Mail, for example, is not only a communicative but also a physical process that produces the equivalent of a gram of carbon dioxide, one hour of video stream is as eco-friendly as it is an hour drive, and if one adds up the billions of "Likes" and searches, the noise on a daily basis by the network node, then you could fly many times across the Atlantic. Not to mention the Bitcoin farms that do not consume as much power as the Switzerland of the sailing, but only by friendly solar and wind turbines, but also of dirty coal-fired power plants is generated. Because of that Server - and Mining-farms is protesting, is just that the physical reality of the Internet is still in a virtual fog.

Thomas Thiel

editor in the features section.

F. A. Z.

Along the large data centers, the power plants of the Internet, today 2.7 percent of the electricity in Europe Lingen. It is not a daring prediction, that is, their consumption with the ongoing digitization will grow to screams. At least the major IT companies, who do not want to stand there longer as an environmental sinner, have responded, and how Apple and Amazon, gigantic Solar and wind farms for its data centers to be built or your Server to the polar circle moved, to reduce the gigantic expenditure of energy for cooling.

You can also go the opposite way and the computer and its housing, data centers, self-ecologically modernise. Volker Lindenstruth is a pioneer of this technology. In 2008, the physicist came to the University of Frankfurt, a high-performance data center. In the following years he has not only built some of the most energy-efficient computers in the world. The Loewe CSC was the top European market in terms of energy consumption, with the data center "Green Cube", the centre for heavy ion research GSI in Darmstadt, Germany, at the Helmholtz -, he conquered 2014 the top rank in the green world ranking list, which is developing at a frantic pace.

high-performance Tandem: Volker Lindenstruth in front of a his super computer : image: Dettmar

Huge savings

Lindenstruth has the Computer in two steps from the inside revolutionized. The first Pioneering work was to replace processors graphics cards. This may be confusing, because the processor is considered the control center of any computer. He doesn't have to be. Not least the progress of the game industry, it is thanks to that the video card has outranked him. In the optical design of dynamic in-game landscapes, in the meantime, raise a computing power that overwhelmed every processor. While the processor has to make do with a calculator, the graphics card several thousands of arithmetic units that can execute a task in parallel. Volker Lindenstruth came up with the idea to make the video card to the Central processing unit. Some companies such as Airbus have signed up to this step, the Forschungszentrum Jülich, which has two of the fastest computers in the world, is planning the area of the change to the graphics card. Overall, the reorganization is progressing, but only slowly, which leads back Lindenstruth on the associated programming effort. Each algorithm needs to be rewritten.

Lindenstruth is holding out for an impossible task and the General switch-over, therefore, only a matter of time. On duration, so Lindenstruth, could not be solved the growing problems of the science with a processor at all. And the electricity bill for computer technology, the universities bring to the load limit. Supercomputers in the top League are the cause of about 1.5 million euros in electricity costs in the year. The world's largest of its kind to come to tens of millions of annually. The transition to the significantly more fuel-efficient graphics card would reduce the energy consumption by lindenstruth a good half.

Economic deformities

is not included Therein, the second saving factor: the conversion of the data centers, the cooling system consumes massive amounts of energy – which is due to the fact that they are cooled with air. Microsoft has sunk its European data center, even in the sea off the Scottish coast, in order to save the exorbitant cooling costs. Other Considerations to use when calculating the heat generated for other purposes, such as the heating of adjacent buildings, or to cool the Chips themselves with water, which has not advanced beyond the prototype but still.

The Green-Cube data centre at GSI in Darmstadt, Germany : image: GSI

Lindenstruth can, however, tap water through the servers to circulate the cooled by another heat exchange system, return flows, and where it came from: in the Main, or any other river, where the Computer is. This System, which he has patented, according to his information, an exemplary energy balance: In contrast to traditional air cooling, in the smoke between thirty and forty per cent of the Expected electricity used in the verb, come from the data centre, Green Cube with less than seven percent. Would be cool all data centers in this way, then the invoice would be a Linden Struth 15 billion euros and 21 million tons of carbon dioxide per year can be saved.

Updated Date: 02 December 2020, 06:20

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