April 18, 2013
BERLIN, Germany, April 18 — HPC System SuperMUC, installed at GCS centre Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) in Garching near Munich, has officially kicked-off installation phase II. Nine months after its festive inauguration, an agreement was sealed for a planned system expansion to be completed by end of 2014 or early 2015. The upgrade of the LRZ supercomputer SuperMUC, which currently delivers a peak performance of 3.185 Petaflops and holds position 6 on the TOP500 list (11/2012), will boost the system’s performance by a factor of about 2.1, making it capable of 6.4 Petaflops (6.4 quadrillion floating point operations per second).
The contract for SuperMUC Phase II was signed by representatives of all parties involved: Professor Arndt Bode of the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ), Professor Karl-Heinz Hoffmann (Chair of Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften), Martina Koederitz (General Manager of IBM Germany), and Andreas Pflieger (IBM) in the presence of Minister Wolfgang Heubisch and Principal Georg Antretter representing the Bavarian State Ministry of Sciences, Research and the Arts. The agreement states that 74,302 Intel-Xeon processor cores will be added to the existing 155,656 processor cores of SuperMUC. Its main memory will be expanded from 340 to 538 terabytes and 9 petabytes of intermediate storage will complement the system’s existing capacity of 10 petabytes.
From the very beginning, the LRZ HPC system has been designed for exceptionally versatile deployment. The more than 150 different applications running on SuperMUC on average per year range from solving problems in physics and fluid dynamics to a wealth of other scientific fields, such as aerospace and automotive engineering, medicine and bioinformatics, astrophysics and geophysics amongst others. Professor Bode is confident that SuperMUC Phase II will be running as stably and reliably as the current system has done from day one — and that it will scale to the large number of cores. “Only shortly after starting operation, SuperMUC was working to full capacity. Already, there are applications that practically use the entire system, and they do this in a very efficient way. Especially in the realm of biology and life sciences, we expect a significantly higher demand of system performance in the foreseeable future. SuperMUC Phase II will be in an excellent position to meet these requirements,” explains Professor Bode.
Not Only Fast, But Also Energy Efficient
SuperMUC, a System X iDataPlex from IBM, is not only one of the fastest, but also one of the most energy efficient supercomputers in the world. With a PUE value of 1.1, the LRZ system claims fame for being on the forefront of Green IT efforts (Greengineering) in data centres. An innovative new form of hot water cooling technology implemented by IBM takes credit for this achievement. The Intel processors and the system software running on SuperMUC offer further opportunities to save energy. Thanks to all these measures, the total energy consumption was drastically reduced to crunching 0.86 gigaflops for every watt consumed – a ratio currently unmatched by any other HPC system of comparable architecture.
"Energy efficiency is a key component of today’s computing devices – from smart phones to supercomputers," Professor Bode adds. "Public research institutions such as LRZ should and can act as pioneers in this field, and with SuperMUC we deliver proof that it is possible to significantly reduce the energy consumption in data centres. This is of major importance especially in light of the fact that since 2012 all state-funded institutions across Germany are required to purchase 100% sustainable energy for all electricity consumed."
HPC System for National and European Science and Research Activities
As with the HPC systems of the other two members of the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing – Hermit of the High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) and JUQUEEN of the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) — computing time on SuperMUC is granted to researchers in Germany and Europe via a comparative assessment by a scientific peer-review-process.
As with the first installation phase, SuperMUC’s system expansion including service expenses and operating costs – a total of 34 Million Euros – is funded through project PetaGCS with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Bavarian
State Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts covering the expenses in equal shares.
The Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) combines the three national super-computing centres HLRS (High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart), JSC (Jülich Supercom-puting Centre), and LRZ (Leibniz Supercomputing Centre, Garching) into Germany’s Tier-0 super-computing institution. Concertedly, the three centres provide the largest and most powerful supercomputer infrastructure in Europe to serve a wide range of industrial and research activities in various disciplines. They also provide top-class training and education for both the national and the European High Performance Computing (HPC) community. GCS is the German member of PRACE (Partnership for Advance Computing in Europe), an international non-profit association consisting of 25 member countries, whose representative organizations create a pan-European supercomputing infrastructure, providing access to computing and data management resources and services for large-scale scientific and engineering applications at the highest performance level.
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