AWE Halves Power, Quadruples Performance with Bull Westmere Super

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The UK’s Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) has acquired a new 145 Teraflop supercomputer from Bull. The “Blackthorn” system, one of the first large clusters in the world using the new six-core Westmere processors from Intel, is being praised for it’s Green credentials:

Blackthorn has a power consumption, under load, of 380KW which easily beats the 500KW target the organisation had set for Bull,” said John Dolphin, Computing Facilities Manager at AWE. “This means that the incoming machine is three to four times more powerful than the supercomputer it is replacing, yet consumes half the electricity.”

Bull continues its momentum in the European HPC market thanks to what I see as a continuous focus on delivering resilient HPC systems. This was critical for AWE, whose HPC work covers the entire life cycle of nuclear warheads in the UK; from concept, assessment and design, component manufacture and assembly, and on to in-service support, decommissioning, and disposal. This kind of stewardship is sobering business, and anyone who has bid for their business can tell you that AWE is one serious customer.

For more info on Blackthorn, read the full story.