The world as we know it, wouldn’t be possible without computers. Then, there are supercomputers! These help us test scientific theories and achieve breakthroughs. There are already several supercomputing centers across Europe but the continent just received a big boost in terms of computing power. The European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) and the company Hewlett Packard Enterprise have signed up the procurement contract of LUMI, a new pre-exascale supercomputer.
LUMI to enable 375 million billion calculations per second for European scientists
LUMI or the Large Unified Modern Infrastructure supercomputer is capable of achieving staggering speeds. Standard home computers and laptops can process anywhere between 1 to 5 billion instructions per second, on average. The supercomputer, on the other hand, can execute well over 375 petaflops or more than 375 million billion calculations per second. The theoretical peak performance of the supercomputer is over 550 petaflops per second.
Entire Europe to benefit
LUMI is co-founded by the EuroHPC JU and the LUMI Consortium with a total budget of €144.5M. The countries in the consortium are Finland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Half of the overall investment in the supercomputer comes from the EuroHPC JU. Hence, half of its computing resources will be allocated for EuroHPC users, following open periodic and peer-reviewed calls to which all eligible European users may participate. Up to 20 percent of the EuroHPC resources will be available to industry and SMEs.
Helwett Packard (HP) has been awarded a contract of more than $160M (nearly €135M) by the EuroHPC JU to build LUMI. The procurement process of LUMI is now complete. Once operational by mid-2021, LUMI will be one of the world’s fastest supercomputers. The system will use Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) HPE Cray EX supercomputer with next-generation AMD EPYC CPUs and AMD Instinct GPUs. Additionally, it is also slated to be one of the world’s most advanced platforms for artificial intelligence.
20 percent of Finland’s Kajaani district heating will be provided by LUMI
While supercomputers deliver unrivalled processing power, they consume a lot of power as well. There’s also considerable heat production, which adds to the overall cost of the project. LUMI will be located in the CSC’s (IT Center for Science) data center in Kajaani, Finland. The supercomputer will be powered using renewable electricity, which will lower its carbon footprint. Furthermore, the waste heat generated by the supercomputer will account for around 20 percent of the district heating in Kajaani, which will help in reducing the entire city’s carbon footprint.
Image credits: EuroHPC JU