According to the Green500 list released earlier this week , which ranks the most power efficient computers in the World , the Saudi supercomputer “SANAM” has been ranked second .
SANAM is a joint project of Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
SANAM is the only computer on the list powered by AMD GPUs. It uses 420 of AMD’s recently announced FirePro S10000 cards, which are in turn each composed of 2 of AMD’s Tahiti GPUs.
While AMD has had a significant showing in the Green500 list for several years now from the CPU side of things, they have never been a contender as a co-processor vendor, so this is a significant breakthrough for AMD and their first modern GPU compute architecture, GCN.
Though much like the Xeon Phi powered Beacon, SANAM is a relatively modest supercomputer; its 2351.1 MFLOPS/W efficiency being spread among only 179KW of total power consumption .
The Arabic name “SANAM” denotes the tip of something and reflects performance and efficiency. It name is derived from the original meaning of a camel’s hump that enables it to store an amount of fat that can sustain the camel’s survival without food for up to two weeks.