Precise Analysis of Power Consumption during Software Execution

The Challenge of Reducing Power Consumption

As supercomputers and data centers become larger and more powerful, energy consumption also increases. A top-level, high-performance supercomputer system, for example, has an energy consumption of around 18 MW, while the average data center in Japan uses around 7.72 billion kWh* per year. There is therefore a pressing need to reduce overall energy consumption.

There are two conventional approaches to reducing energy consumption: using energy-efficient hardware, and designing programs that use less power to run on servers. Energy-efficient programming requires a good understanding of how the software consumes power. Current Intel CPU servers can calculate energy consumption for the CPU as a whole, but not for individual software programs executed on individual CPU cores. Thus there is no mechanism for analyzing the precise energy requirements of software programs.

* From Report from Study Group on ICT Policy for Addressing Global Warming, published April 2008 by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

Precise Analysis of Software Energy Consumption

Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a system for calculating the energy consumption of individual software processes on the server CPU, providing valuable information for energy-efficient software design. The key benefits are:

1. Analyzes software energy requirements in detail using power distribution based on performance indices
2. Calculates energy usage with low overheads

In this way, software developers can incorporate energy-efficient programming elements to tune their software for lower energy consumption, thereby reducing overall server energy requirements. In conjunction with better use of spare power and more parallel processing, this will enhance overall program performance.

Fujitsu Laboratories is conducting energy-efficient software trials with a view to launching the energy consumption software during FY2016. It is hoped that the software will also be introduced at Fujitsu’s own data centers as a means of reducing energy consumption levels.