Atos Delivers Bull sequana Supercomputer to Hartree Centre

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Today Atos announced the first installation of its Bull sequana X1000 new-generation supercomputer system in the UK at the Hartree Centre. Founded by the UK government, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Hartree Centre is a high performance computing and data analytics research facility. Described as “the world’s most efficient supercomputer,” Bull sequana is an exascale-class computer capable of processing a billion billion operations per second while consuming 10 times less energy than current systems.

We believe that our Bull supercomputing technology and our expertise will reinforce the Centre’s reputation as a world class HPC centre of excellence and as the flagship model for industry-academic collaboration,” said Andy Grant, Head of Big Data and HPC at Atos.

This major collaboration between Atos and the Centre focuses on various initiatives aimed at addressing the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy which encourages closer collaboration between academia and industry. It includes:

  • The launch of a new UK based High Performance Computing (HPC) as a Service Offering (HPCaaS), which enables both large and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to take advantage of extreme computing performance through easily accessible Cloud portals. Improving SME access to such tools encourages and supports high-tech business innovation across the UK.
  • Deep Learning as a Service (DLaaS); an emerging cognitive computing technique with broad applicability from automated voice recognition to medical imaging. The technology can be used, for example, to automatically detect anomalies in mammography scans with a higher degree of accuracy than the human eye.

The new supercomputer will allow both academic and industry organisations to use the latest technology and develop applications using the most recent advances in artificial intelligence and high performance data analytics. As such, the Bull sequana system will aid Hartree to become the ‘go-to’ place in the UK for technology evaluation, supporting the work of major companies in fields ranging from engineering and consumer goods to healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

Alison Kennedy, Director of the Hartree Centre said: “The Hartree Centre works at the leading edge of emerging technologies and provides substantial benefits to the many industrial and research organisations that come to us. Our collaboration with Atos will ensure that we continue to enable businesses, large and small, to make the best use of supercomputing and Big Data to develop better products and services that will boost productivity and drive growth.”

The partnership also encompasses a joint project to develop next-generation hardware and software solutions and application optimisation services, so that commercial and academic users benefit from the Hartree systems. It is also helping promote participation in STEM careers at higher education level and beyond, particularly in the North West of the UK.
The Bull sequana will be approximately 3.4 PFlops when installed and is composed of Intel® Xeon® and many core Xeon Phi™ (Knights Landing) processor technology. It has been designed to accommodate future blade systems for Deep Learning, GPU and ARM based computing.

The new Bull sequana system is one of the most energy efficient general purpose supercomputers in the world and is in the TOP20 of the Green500 list of the most energy efficient computers.

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  1. As the interconnect is not specified I assume it is rather InfiniBand and not BXI?