Based on IBM BG/Q architecture, the new supercomputing system in CINECA, the Italian supercomputing centre, will replace the IBM SP6 supercomputer when it is installed this spring, becoming fully operational in August 2012. Dubbed FERMI, this new system is composed of 10.240 PowerA2 sockets running at 1.6GHz, with 16 cores each, totalling 163.840 compute cores and a system peak performance of 2.1 petaflops. Each processor comes with 16Gbyte of RAM (1Gbyte per core). The BG/Q system will be equipped with a high-performance scratch storage system with a capacity of 2 Pbyte and a bandwidth in excess of 100 Gbyte/s.
From the mandate of the Italian Ministry of Education University and Research, CINECA represents Italy in PRACE (the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe). CINECA becomes a Tier-0 site as described in the PRACE roadmap. Access to FERMI will be on the basis of national and European calls for proposals. ISCRA (Italian Super Computing Resources Allocation) and PRACE will manage the access to the Tier-0 supercomputer by the way of international peer-review procedures ensuring world-class research is carried out that will be competitive worldwide.
Marco Lanzarini, director of CINECA, commented: ‘As director of CINECA I am extremely proud that this impressively large Italian supercomputer will represent an effective reply to the growing demand from national and European academia, research institutions and industries for petascale computing capabilities. The installation of this new powerful Italian infrastructure will strengthen the position of the PRACE consortium and reinforce Europe’s competitiveness in the race to exascale.’