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A "Green Index"

Comments(0)Filed under: Logic Design, Green Electronics, HPC, GCPI, high-productiviy computing, sicortex

SiCortex has proposed a new industry benchmark to measure the power efficiency for the High-Productivity Computing (HPC) segment, which includes data center computing. This metric, the Green Computing Performance Index (GCPI), measures system-level performance-per-watt.

The goal is to reduce the need of data centers to be built near hydroelectric dams, or even at sea.  More efficient computing reduces the power consumption of not only the electronics but also the power required to cool them.

“We are optimistic that the GCPI will spawn needed dialogue in the industry, calling companies, including SiCortex, to live up to their claims surrounding green HPC,” said Chris Stone, president and CEO of SiCortex.

That’s the money quote right there.  Maybe it’s not the end-all measurement, but at least it raises awareness and helps their customers make informed decisions.

SiCortex has a vested interest of course.  They sell low-power high-performance computing systems.  The approach they took is exactly what is needed – building power into everything from the ground-up, not as an afterthought.  The way they designed their processor architecture, the communication fabric, even their own flavor of Linux – all took power efficiency into account.

That is also the approach we have taken here at Cadence.  I know our “green campaign” has been the first advertising campaign around this, but our product teams built power optimization and awareness into our tools from the ground-up.  This makes it easier to for instance, minimize power in the context of aggressive performance goals, or to verify power functionality the same way and at the same throughput as any other function your chip performs.  Power can no longer be an afterthought or a bolt-on.  And at the same time, it can’t be a barrier to achieving your other goals.

Everybody needs to have this dialogue – to understand the power efficiency of their approach, and to make all of their architecture, design, and implementation decisions in this context.

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