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CSC deploys an energy-efficient Bull supercomputer

Posted on 20 November 2013 by Pierre Picard

CSC- IT Center for Science is deploying a highly energy-efficient supercomputer. The system is built by Bull and co-funded by the European PRACE project. It will be installed in CSC’s datacenter in Kajaani.

CSC will use the system in collaboration with Finnish researchers and the PRACE community to leverage the latest processing technologies from Intel and Nvidia. These new technologies promise significant improvements in cost-effectiveness and energy-efficiency compared to traditional processors.

The system will be deployed in two stages at CSC’s datacenter in Kajaani, Finland: The first stage is expected to be available for pilot users by the end of the year and it comprises 44 nodes with 88 Intel® Xeon PhiTM 7120X coprocessors. Performance will be nearly doubled in early 2014 with the addition of a second stage using the latest Nvidia® TeslaTM K40 GPUs. This system will be the very first in the world to integrate a combination of Intel® Xeon PhiTM coprocessors and Nvidia® TeslaTM K40 GPUs, and is intended to serve as a demonstrator for the use of both technologies.

When the demonstrator is complete, its peak performance will be on a par with CSC’s Sisu (in its current configuration before the 2nd phase upgrade), the most powerful supercomputer in Finland, and among the most powerful in northern Europe.

It is also expected that the system will be one of the most energy-efficient supercomputer systems in the world. This is made possible by combining the most efficient processing technologies, cooling solutions and datacenter infrastructure available today:

  • Processing power mainly relies on the latest versions of processors designed for high performance computing. These specialized processors consume much less energy per operation than regular processors.
  • The system is cooled by Bull’s cutting-edge direct-liquid cooling DLC system. Direct-liquid cooling is the most efficient technology available for cooling computers.
  • The system is housed in CSC’s new Kajaani data center which, due to its design and northern location makes it possible to cool the system without chillers almost throughout the year.

Bull is strengthening CSC’s supercomputing service portfolio as one of the leading providers of accelerator-based processing capabilities for pilot users in Finland and across Europe“, says Kimmo Koski, Managing Director of CSC.

Bull is very proud to provide CSC with this pioneering system that combines the two leading accelerator technologies in the same hot water cooled environment. We are very happy that yet another Bull supercomputer will be part of PRACE’s high performance computing infrastructure, contributing to an innovative experiment” , declared Michel Guillemet, VP Innovative Products at Bull.

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