At the Zettascale Lab, we are examining large-scale GPU and X86 systems to understand how power is currently used and distributed. We are evolving a methodology to allow for an automated process that will estimate the amount of energy (and time) operations take to complete. The aim is dynamic and energy-aware system behaviour (e.g., a system that can react to the spot-pricing or availability of power). This could lead to a sector-wide shift whereby costs for operations are calculated on the basis of power consumption rather than time spent utilising cores. Software developers would then be incentivised to write code that made efficient use of the diverse components in a zettascale system.
In a second work stream, building on the knowledge that the Zettascale Lab has established about energy efficient systems, we aim to create training packages to help Research Software Engineers, scientists and researchers code for efficiency.
A third project in this field involves hardware. The Zettascale Lab is exploring innovative ways to reduce the power consumed in the process of heating and cooling systems.
Using a whole-system approach, by systematically analysing cause and effect, our aim is to gain insights into the best ways to balance the demands of speed and energy efficiency in zettascale-class computing. We plan to develop energy-efficient systems that make the best use of every joule that is spent.
Not only will this maximise the value of IT investment by reducing operational cost, it will also contribute to the problem of tackling environmental degradation.