ABB is collaborating with its global, strategic partner, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on jointly developed technology to significantly reduce the energy consumption of high-performance supercomputers, while at the same time increasing their computing capacity and reliability.

Answers to some of society’s most pressing challenges are buried in massive amounts of data. The world’s top research centers use supercomputers to find answers to some of the most complicated problems such as pandemic modeling, precision medicine, climate change and quantum mechanics.

HPE’s Cray supercomputers use a tailored ABB higher voltage direct current (DC)1 power supply solution, which makes it possible to reduce the use of copper by a factor of 14. Another environmental and efficiency benefit of higher voltage DC is the vast reduction of power losses: by as much as 95 percent. A connected solution furthermore enables power supply to ramp up power or scale down, depending on the computing load, creating peak efficiency during light computing loads as well as when the system is fully loaded.

“ABB and HPE are paving the way for sustainable high-performance data centers that can help humanity in its search for answers to existential problems such as predicting pandemics, fighting climate change and discovering new medicines,” said Peter Raadsen, Product Line Leader at ABB.

We need to be able to do more computing with fewer resources and energy inputs,” said HPE Chief Sustainability Officer, Christopher Wellise. “At HPE, we are committed to accelerating our path to a circular economy, and part of that is innovating technologies that overcome energy and resource constraints.”

Real-time monitoring of thermal and power aspects of supercomputers adds another benefit. HPE servers offer embedded power and thermal monitors on critical components with output data aggregated and reported through HPE Integrated Lights Out (iLO), a proprietary and remote server management software that enables seamless and secure configuration, monitoring, and updating of HPE servers. iLO allows users to monitor equipment utilization, power consumption, and thermal output via tools, such as HPE OneView, HPE InfoSight, ABB Ability™ Data Center Automation, or 3rd party Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) and take action to optimize operations.

When combined with ABB Ability™ Data Center Automation, ABB’s industrial solution for on-premise and hybrid cloud environments, HPE and ABB are able to automate the correlation between workload and CPU dynamics with cooling of the data centers, resulting in a reduction of energy use of up to 30 percent.

HPE and ABB have been global, strategic partners since November 2017. The relationship combines the best of ABB’s digital offerings with HPE’s leading innovative connectivity, secure edge compute and hybrid information technology (IT) solutions, as well as new everything-as-a-service models.

 


1. The Cray computers use power supplies with a +/− 190-volt output

ABB is a technology leader that is driving the digital transformation of industries. With a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB has four customer-​​focused, globally leading businesses: Electrification, Industrial Automation, Motion, and Robotics & Discrete Automation, supported by the ABB Ability™ digital platform. ABB’s Power Grids business will be divested to Hitachi in 2020. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 144,000 employees. www.abb.com

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