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Two supercomputers from Jülich among the ten fastest in the world

Supercomputers JUGENE und JUROPA/HPC-FF take places 3 and 10; Germany now developing its own supercomputers again

[23. Juni 2009]

Jülich / Hamburg, 23 June 2009 - In the decisive global ranking of the world’s fastest supercomputers that was published today, Forschungszentrum Jülich has not one but two supercomputers among the top ten. JUGENE, Europe’s fastest computer takes place 3, and JUROPA / HPC-FF, the computer tandem developed in Jülich, is ranked 10th in the world and 2nd in Europe. This is the first time in the history of the global ranking that one single European institution has two computers among the first ten.

With its 72,000 processors, the supercomputer JUGENE achieves a top performance of more than 1 petaflop/s. Professor Achim Bachem, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich, said, "With JUGENE in 3rd place, Germany has moved into the world league for supercomputing and simulation." JUGENE is of the IBM Blue Gene /P type and is used for very compute-intensive, complex simulations, for example in materials science, environmental research or particle physics. It was acquired within the framework of the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing – an association of national supercomputing centres in Garching, Jülich and Stuttgart funded by the Federal Government and the federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia.

With their more than 3,200 computing nodes, JUROPA and HPC-FF achieve a top performance of 308 teraflop/s. "Jülich is breaking completely new ground with JUROPA and HPC-FF," said Professor Thomas Lippert, Director of the Jülich Supercomputing Centre. "In the JUROPA Consortium Germany is once again developing its own supercomputers of the highest performance class for the first time in 20 years."

Both systems were designed by experts from the Jülich Supercomputing Centre and implemented together with partner companies. The so-called cluster computers consist of proven components as will soon be available in normal PCs, for example the latest quad core Nehalem processor from Intel. However, the decisive factor for the high efficiency and stability of the two supercomputers is the ParaStation operating software, developed by ParTec from Munich, and the Linux operating system “SUSE Linux Enterprise Server” from Novell. "If the processors are the computer’s beating heart then the software is the integrating soul of the system", explains Lippert. "Finally, an extremely fast InfiniBand network from Mellanox and SUN represents the nervous system". JUROPA’s parallel storage system, LUSTRE, was also supplied by SUN. "And with the French supercomputer specialist Bull as our general supplier we have a European partner with a global reputation", adds Lippert. Theboards in HPC-FF are supplied by Bull itself; JUROPA is composed of highly integrated blades from SUN.

Jülich’s approach is to provide a system of complementary, energy-saving computers in order to supply suitable cooperating platforms for all applications. Researchers from all disciplines will make use of JUROPA in order to discover how the climate is changing, how proteins are folded in cells, how new semiconductors function or how fuel cells can be improved. HPC-FF will be available exclusively for fusion research. For particularly large simulations both computers can be coupled via ParaStation and will then achieve a peak performance of 308 teraflop/s, which is 308 trillion arithmetic operations per second. One petaflop/s corresponds to a thousand trillion arithmetic operations per second. The two Jülich supercomputers JUGENE and JUROPA/HPC-FF are the only facilities outside the USA to be included in the latest TOP 10.

Jülich Supercomputer Portal

Technical data on JUGENE

Technical data on JUROPA and HPC-FF


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