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Energy efficient supercomputer could eventually become most powerful in the world

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The team behind the energy efficient Mont-Blanc supercomputer project believes that in five years it could become the most powerful supercomputer in the world, not just the most efficient.

NVIDIA Tegra 3 chip
NVIDIA Tegra 3 chip

The Mont-Blanc supercomputer project from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) is aiming to be the most efficient of its kind, but eventually it could also be the most powerful. By utilizing low-power chips currently used for mobile devices like smartphones, Mont-Blanc is expected to be somewhere between four and ten times more efficient than similar computers by the time 2014 rolls around. But according to BSC manager Alex Ramirez, as more powerful successors to chips like the Tegra 3 become available, the supercomputer could become the most powerful of its kind, in addition to the most efficient. These new chips will require new software, but Ramirez believes that by 2017 the Mont-Blanc could be in the 200 petaflop range, which is around 20 times more powerful than the current number one supercomputer. It'll be a while before it will see any action, though — the first prototype won't start being built until sometime in May.