SAN JOSE, Calif. Seeking to reduce the power in data centers, SiCortex Inc. Friday (Sept. 14) claims to have demonstrated the first high-performance computer powered solely by a team of bicyclists.
The computer, called the SC648, conducted genomics analysis at a rate of billions of calculations per second while being powered by a team of 8-to-10 bicyclists riding generator-equipped bicycles, according to SiCortex (Maynard, Mass.).
The SiCortex computer was powered by bicyclists from the Jax Racing team, riding eight Trek bicycles producing an average of 260 watts each.
The bicycle-powered SC648 is carrying out an advanced genomics computation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ''The application analyzes and compares the genomes of hundreds of potentially-related insect pests to determine which are the most-closely related and to uncover heretofore undocumented species,'' according to the company. ''New species can require changes to existing international trade agreements and put domestic crops at risk.''
The company demonstrated the feat at the Wired Magazine NextFest at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The system hopes to solve a major problem: energy usage in high performance computing.
"For every high-performance computer in use today, society could benefit from a hundred of them," said John Mucci, SiCortex' CEO, in a statement. "But unless we retire the current power hogs, we will never get there in a sustainable way. Today's demonstration dramatically illustrates what can be achieved when we focus on addressing these power issues. We hope other companies will join with SiCortex and focus on new approaches to solving the power problem."
SiCortex was formed by a handful of veterans from Digital Equipment. Its chairman is Ethernet pioneer Bob Metcalf.
The company is developing high-end servers. The startup has taken the radical path of developing an ASIC that might have lower power, size and cost than competing X86 CPUs, yet runs Linux and MPI.