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First ARM-based supercomputer aims for Green 500

An energy-efficient supercomputer, the world's first built using ARM-based processors, is being put together at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) in Spain, reports tech news site ComputerWorld.

The system is based on 1,000 Tegra 3 chips - Nvidia's system-on-a-chip designed primarily for smartphones and tablets, introduced earlier this month. Each Tegra 3 chip includes a quad-core ARM CPU. The chips are being paired with discrete graphics processors from Nvidia to speed up scientific and maths calculations.

While the supercomputer, with a CPU-only computational capacity of around 300 gigaflops, isn't anywhere near powerful enough to trouble the TOP 500 list of the most powerful supercomputers in the word - currently headed up by the 10-petaflop Sparc64-based Fujitsu K Computer at the Rikagaku Kenkyusho research lab in Kobe, Japan, its creators are hoping the low power consumption of ARM processors should earn the system a place in the Green 500 list of the world's most energy-efficient High Performance Computers (HPCs).

The specifications for the €14 million system will be finalised next year, and form part of the newly launched Europe-wide Mont Blanc project, which aims to build supercomputers that consume 15 to 30 times less energy than existing systems. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.