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Innovation: Bull launched new supercomputers at Supercomputing in Seattle: doubling computing power and spectacular energy efficiency

Posted on 16 November 2011 by Pierre Picard

The bullx B510 series: the new generation of ultra-dense Petascale supercomputers that deliver twice as much processing power and memory speed as the previous generation and ensure optimum power consumption. The Series is already being used at the heart of two Petascale systems: the GENCI’s Curie supercomputer installed at the TGCC (very large-scale computing center) in France and the Helios supercomputer in Rokkasho, Japan, run by F4E (Fusion for Energy) as part of the ITER project.

37 Teraflops in a single rack: 100 times greater density in just five years

Based on twin-socket processing nodes grouped into pairs within the blades, the bullx B510 blade series delivers peak performance of over 37 Teraflops per rack thanks to:

  • The use Intel® Xeon® E5 Processor (Sandy Bridge) family
  • Its extremely high memory capacity, of up to 256 GB per blade
  • Totally non-blocking InfiniBand® QDR or FDR connectivity.

By way of comparison – and proof positive of the incredible progress in HPC technologies – just five years ago, producing 37 Teraflops of power would have required over a hundred racks.

The bullx B700 DLC (Direct Liquid Cooling) series: a new generation of supercomputers (running to several Petaflops) delivers spectacular improvements in HPC center energy efficiency and drastic savings in energy consumption. They feature revolutionary direct liquid cooling technology (using some technology from the aeronautical industry). Using warm water for cooling improves energy performance by around 40% compared with traditional HPC centers, although the systems are just as easy to maintain as standard air-cooled servers. With the DLC technology unveiled at SC11, Bull has achieved a step-change in cutting energy consumption, by reducing the PUE to less than 1.1. In addition, the bullx B700 DLC series is significantly quieter than air-cooled systems.  Finally, DLC technology can be used to cool up to 80kW per rack compared with 40kW currently, which will enable forthcoming generations of ultra-dense multi-core processors to be integrated into these systems.

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