NEC Delivers HPC Cluster to RWTH Aachen University in Germany

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Today NEC announced that RWTH Aachen University in Germany has started operations of a new HPC cluster. Called CLAIX-2018 the system augments the university’s existing CLAIX-2016 installation.

We are very proud that we could deliver and implement this very innovative HPC cluster solution to RWTH Aachen University. RWTH Aachen is one of the most renowned universities in Germany, and this project is a lighthouse project not only for the HPC datacentre, but also for NEC,” said Yuichi Kojima, Vice President HPC EMEA at NEC Deutschland.

The heart of CLAIX-2018 (“Cluster Aix-la-Chapelle”) comprises approximately 1,032 compute nodes, each equipped with two Intel Xeon Platinum 8160 CPUs, containing 24 cores at a nominal clock frequency of 2.1 GHz (turbo mode up to 3.7 GHz), and 192 GB of RAM. In addition, 48 of these nodes are equipped with two NVIDIA Volta V100 GPUs, interconnected by the high-bandwidth, low-latency NVLink technology. These nodes support the acceleration of specially optimized applications for data analysis. All nodes of CLAIX-2018 are connected by an Intel Omni-Path 100G network fabric. With CLAIX-2018, a completely new high-performing Lustre-based HPC storage solution will also be put into operations, providing a usable capacity of 10 Petabyte and a read/write bandwidth of 150 GB/s.

For the simulation applications from the RWTH job mix, CLAIX-2018 provides an average performance increase of 30% per core for the same data input sets in comparison to the previously installed system and delivers a theoretical peak performance of 3.55 Petaflops. The indirect liquid cooling of the complete solution is implemented by side-coolers, assisted by a free-air cooling component.

From all the candidates, NEC had made the most attractive and convincing proposal. Our decision process involved a job mix of various applications for simulation, and the NEC solution design demonstrated an excellent price-performance ratio with regards to the total cost of ownership, energy and cooling efficiency, as well as the total performance,” said Professor Dr. Matthias Müller, director of the IT Center and responsible for High Performance Computing at RWTH Aachen University.

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