AWE to benefit from bullx™ supercomputers that will deliver unprecedented ultra-dense, ultra high performance technology to improve operational effectiveness whilst optimising energy efficiency
Bull has won the contract to provide the United Kingdom’s Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) with two large scale capacity supercomputer systems, with a combined peak performance in excess of 75 TeraFlops (trillions of calculations per second). The systems chosen are the latest bullx supercomputers launched by Bull last year, which are the first European-designed supercomputers to be totally dedicated to Extreme Computing.
Commenting on the contract with Bull Dr Graeme Nicholson, AWE’s Director Science and Technology Programme said: “This investment will enable us to make advances on a range of scientific fronts — including weapon physics, materials science and engineering – which will underpin our continued ability to underwrite the safety and effectiveness of the Trident warhead in the Comprehensive Test Ban era.”
Ken Atkinson, AWE’s HPC Strategy Manager also commented: “Each of the two bullx supercomputer systems has about the same performance as our current capability system. Use of these new systems will provide us with a high performance, high-throughput, capacity-biased production facility which will enable our demanding numerical modelling to be undertaken within acceptable elapsed times.”
“As a new customer, the contract with AWE is a clear demonstration of Bull’s ability to deliver extreme computing technology to match the demands of the most exacting requirements of research, engineering and scientific computing environments,” stated Fabio Gallo, Vice-President and Director of Extreme Computing Solutions at Bull Group. “Bull won the AWE procurement against fierce competition, but the bullx system was a clear winner in terms of its ability to deliver against AWE’s demanding performance needs within strict environmental constraints. Being such an ultra-dense, ultra high performance, flexible system, the bullx supercomputer will enable AWE to run a wide range of applications – including real-time applications which scale up to thousands of processors – whilst reducing energy and power consumption and improving operational effectiveness.”
The first of the two supercomputers has already been successfully installed at the AWE site, following a staging process at Bull’s manufacturing and development plant in Angers, France. The second system has also been installed and will be brought into service during late spring 2010.
As an award winning HPC technology system, bullx was designed from the ground-up specifically for the High-Performance Computing market. Developed by Bull’s team of specialists working in close collaboration with major customers, the bullx supercomputers are able to respond to even the most extreme demands for computing power, while at the same time guaranteeing maximum energy efficiency. The hybrid architecture, the components included and technologies developed, mean that bullx systems are among the most advanced on the market in their ability to meet environmental constraints and reduce the cost of energy consumption. Also access to innovation will become simpler and faster for all kinds of businesses, engineering and scientific establishments and research laboratories.
About the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)
AWE has been central to the defence of the United Kingdom for more than 50 years through its provision and maintenance of the warheads for the country’s nuclear deterrent, Trident. The work at AWE covers the entire life cycle of nuclear warheads; from initial concept, assessment and design, through to component manufacture and assembly, in-service support, and decommissioning and disposal.
AWE employs around 4,500 staff and over 2,000 contractors including scientists, engineers, technicians, crafts-people and safety specialists, as well as business and administrative experts – many of whom are leaders in their field.
AWE is managed for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) through a contractor-operated arrangement. While our sites and facilities remain in government ownership, their management, day-to-day operations and the maintenance of Britain’s nuclear stockpile is contracted to a private company: AWE Management Limited (AWE ML). AWE ML is formed of three equal shareholders – Serco, Lockheed Martin and Jacobs Engineering Group.
For further information visit: http://www.awe.co.uk/index.html