CCRT in France Acquires 1.4 Petaflop “Cobalt” Supercomputer from Bull

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atos-supercomputer-by-bull-by-p-stroppa-for-ceaToday Atos announced that the French CEA and its industrial partners at the Centre for Computing Research and Technology, CCRT, have invested in a new 1.4 petaflop Bull supercomputer. Three times more powerful than the current computer at CCRT, the new system will be installed in the CEA’s Very Large Computing Centre in Bruyères-le-Châtel, France, mid-2016 to cover expanding industrial needs.

Named COBALT, the new Intel Xeon-based supercomputer will be powered by over 32,000 compute cores and storage capacity of 2.5 Petabytes with a throughput of 60 GB/s.

The renewed confidence of the CEA and CCRT in Bull technologies is something we are very proud of at Atos,” said Philippe Vannier, Executive Vice President Big Data & Security at Atos. “This project is a new milestone accomplished within our exascale programme which aims to develop a new generation of supercomputers by 2020 capable of achieving performance levels in the order of exaflops, a billion billion calculations per second, while at the same time significantly reducing energy consumption.”

The COBALT supercomputer will comprise 2304 Intel Xeon E5 processors (Broadwell) with a total of 32,256 cores at 2.4 Ghz and 18 hybrid nodes with Nvidia Pascal processors, for remote computing and visualization. The partition dedicated to the France Génomique project shall in turn, be equipped with 4032 Intel Xeon E5 Broadwell cores at 2.4 Ghz and 4 very large memory nodes at 3TB/node. An InfiniBand EDR interconnect solution (100 GB/s vs. 40 GB/s currently) forms the core of this new computer and will allow it to increase capacity based on the needs of its partners for the coming 4 to 5 years.

The mandate of the CCRT is to support digital simulation development, particularly in the industrial world. Established in 2003, based on a unique partnership model in France, it has demonstrated its capacity to respond sustainably to the needs of industry partners. It offers a wide range of high performance computing (HPC) competencies, tailored to the growing needs of its partners, combining security and flexibility in its use of resources.

Teams from Airbus D&S, Areva, EDF, Herakles, Ineris, L’Oréal, Safran Tech, Snecma, Thales, Thales Alenia Space, Techspace Aero, Turbomeca, Valeo and CEA shall have the highest class computing resources at their disposal, necessary for developing their projects in the future. Research into the lifetime of power plants, the design and safety of nuclear reactors, the development of aircraft and helicopter engines, optimization of car ventilation and air conditioning systems, the design of radar systems, environmental risk analyses, studying proteins and decoding the genome, predicting the performance of cosmetics or even the search for new materials are all areas in which numerical simulation is growing rapidly.

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