Abstract Currently, the Green500 is possibly the largest effort to direct the evolution of supercomputing towards sustainable design but does not address life-cycle impacts of a supercomputer. Supercomputer assessment with economical, environmental, and societal impacts considered would provide an optimal future supercomputer design that is sustainable. Some of the benefits of such an assessment would help determines the complete impact for bringing a supercomputer online, determine impact “hot spots” in design, and determine optimal locations for construction. By combining process-LCA and EIO-LCA methods, an initial model for in-depth sustainability analysis of supercomputer design has been developed and the results presented. The model provides comparison of economic, environmental, and societal impacts for manufacturing and operation of not only a single supercomputer but a range of designs. The ultimate goal of this model is to assist government, academia, and industry in supercomputer development for existing and future supercomputers. The advantages of the model are determining the entire impact before the initial construction begins, determine high-impact sections of the supercomputer's design, and to direct construction to optimal locations.
McDonnell, Marshall T. (2013) Supercomputer Design: An Initial Effort to Capture the Environmental, Economic, and Societal Impacts. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Publications and Other Works. http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_chembiopubs/93