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New supercomputer with processing speed of 60 teraflops to be installed at the Swedish National Supercomputer Centre in Linköping

With a theoretical processing speed of 60 teraflops, the new supercomputer at the National Supercomputer Centre at Linköping University will be one of the world's most powerful computer clusters. Go Virtual and HP, who were awarded the NSC contract jointly, will be in charge of both the hardware infrastructure and the installation work. The new supercomputer is being financed by the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing section of the Swedish Research Council.

This autumn, the Swedish National Supercomputer Centre at Linköping University will introduce Sweden's most powerful supercomputer to date. The NSC's new computer building will house a total of 805 computing nodes, which will form a cluster that delivers a theoretical performance of 60 teraflops. In addition to being the most powerful supercomputer in Sweden, the new cluster will occupy a very high place on the list of the world's 500 most powerful supercomputers.

"With the new supercomputer, we'll be making a big leap forward compared to the computing power we have today. We'll be moving from 1.7 to 60 teraflops of theoretical processing speed on the primary resource we offer our academic clients," says NSC Director Sven Stafström. "The investment in this type of computing power — which was made possible by a grant from the SNIC division of the Swedish Science Council — is of considerable strategic importance, and part of our aim is to become one of Europe's leading computing centres. The new supercomputer will facilitate highly effective research in applied fields that develop new materials, new structures for improved aerodynamics and adhesiveness, and new electronic components, for example. It will also be used in basic research in fields such as chemistry and physics."

The NSC's supercomputer

Each of the 805 nodes forming the cluster is an HP ProLiant DL140 G3 with two quad-core Intel® Xeon® Processor E5345s. The installation will also include five ProLiant DL380 G5 system servers, which will handle cluster administration tasks. Combined, the servers will have 14 terabytes of main memory. The computing nodes will communicate with each other over a high-speed network based on Infiniband equipment from Cisco®, which will deliver a total network bandwidth of more than 32 terabits per second. Go Virtual and HP will have the supercomputer in place in early autumn, and starting 1 November the full system should be up and running.

"This is a high-prestige project for Go Virtual and HP, as we're both involved and contributing the advanced know-how, capacity and resources needed to deliver this type of installation," says Peter Noring, business area manager at HP Sweden. "We're very excited indeed to be building a supercomputer in Sweden that's more powerful than anything in our part of the world"

Processing speed measured in teraflops

When discussing superpower performance, speed is often measured in theoretical terms and expressed as the number of "flops", or floating-point operations per second. What this amounts to is simply an indication of how fast the computer should be able to perform calculations if all its capacity were used, right down to the last clock cycle. The claim that the NSC supercomputer can reach a processing speed of 60 teraflops is based on the ability of its processors to perform four floating-point operations each clock cycle. The top performance for each core is calculated by multiplying the clock frequency (MHz) of each processor by four. This number is then multiplied by the total number of cores — resulting in a theoretical value as high as 60 teraflops. To rank among the top 500 (www.top500.org), a special measurement program called Linpack is used to measure the real-world performance that the computing nodes actually deliver. What Linpack does is basically to solve a linear equation system.

"The most reliable estimate of the supercomputer's real-world performance shows that it should be able to reach about 40 teraflops, which means the NSC supercomputer ought to rank very high among the supercomputers in use today," says Ivar Ekström, head of sales at Go Virtual. "It's going to be an extraordinary installation — not just because the new computer building will be filled with a 20-metre-long, 2-metre-high computer rack, but also because of the research this type of infrastructure will make possible."

About the NSC contract

The new contract with Go Virtual and HP covers hardware infrastructure and installation of capability resources for scientific calculations. The solution is a computing cluster built from a number of servers with multi-core processors, linked together via a high-speed Infiniband network.

The hardware infrastructure consists of:

  • 805 HP® ProLiant DL140 G3 servers
  • Quad-core Intel® Xeon® Processor E5345s
  • 5 HP ProLiant DL380 G5 system servers running Linux
  • 3 Cisco® SFS 7024D Infiniband root switches
  • 68 Cisco® SFS 7000D Infiniband leaf switches

For more information, please contact:

Sven Stafström, NSC Director, tel: +46 13 28 25 36 or +46 70 514 13 52
Peter Noring, Business Area Manager, HP Sweden, tel: +46 8 524 94 716
Ivar Ekström, Sales Manager, Go Virtual, tel: +46 8 792 08 33
Gunilla Lundqvist, Marketing Communications Manager, HP Sweden, tel: +46 8 524 90 400

About the NSC

The NSC operates large-scale shared memory and cluster computing systems for nationwide academic use, as well as computing resources for climate research, the SMHI's weather forecasts and research, and Saab AB's processing needs. We specialise in meeting the needs of clients whose research requires very significant and parallel processing resources, known as capability resources. For more information, visit www.nsc.liu.se

About Go Virtual

Go Virtual Nordic AB offers a product portfolio that ranges from computers and workflow and heat-generation analysis software to software and hardware for simulating and visualising virtually developed products. With its cutting-edge technology know-how, Go Virtual is the Nordic representative for HP's international High Performance Computing EMEA Partner Program (HEPP). For more information, visit www.govirtual.se

About HP

HP focuses on simplifying technology experiences for all of its customers — from individual consumers to the largest businesses. With a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure, HP is among the world's largest IT companies, with revenue totaling $94.1 billion for the four fiscal quarters ended Jan. 31, 2007. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at www.hp.com




Page last modified: 2007-06-19 14:36
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