SiCortex, the first company to engineer a Linux cluster from the silicon up, demonstrated the opportunity for power savings in high-performance computing. The SC648 computer conducted complex genomics analysis at billions of calculations per second while being powered by a team of 8-10 bicyclists.
The demonstration was shown at Wired NextFest. SiCiortex says that power consumption has become one of the most important issues in supercomputing in the form of not only power required to operate the computers, but also power required to cool the computers due to heat generated.
"Ten years ago, this analysis was impossible on even the biggest computers, and now it's being done on a bicycle powered machine," said Mucci "Ten years from now, we'll probably be doing it right down at the docks as they unload the ships. But these tools will only proliferate if we learn to design them to be sustainable." The computer used in the demo was powered by cyclists from the Jax Racing team using eight special Trek bicycles putting out 260W each.