The French weather forecasting agency, Météo-France, has chosen bullx B700 DLC supercomputers from Bull for their new-generation processing requirements. The supercomputers will be installed at Météo-France’s site in Toulouse from the first quarter of 2013 onwards, and then at the Espace Clément Ader1 in Autumn 2013. Equipped with an innovative, high-performance cooling system and the latest generation of Intel Xeon processors, the bullx supercomputers will initially deliver processing power of around 1 Petaflops2 (in 2013-2014), with a total performance of over 5 Petaflops due to be available by 2016.
This boost to Météo-France’s processing power is reflected in a major technological evolution: the move from vector to scalar technology, based on industry standards and capable of delivering much higher levels of parallel processing power for minimal total cost of ownership.
Météo-France’s decision confirms Bull’s expertise in parallelization of application codes used in meteorology and climate science. Greater parallelization is vital to ensure optimum utilization of the machines involved. It involves essential changes to computer code – a major challenge in itself – which all meteorological institutes worldwide will have to undertake.