NEC receives 50 Million Euro order from Germany’s DWD

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Today NEC announced that it received an order for an NEC SX-Aurora TSUBASA supercomputer with a value of 50 Million Euro from the Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), the German weather forecasting service.

The new HPC system will enable the development of seamless prediction of severe weather events, including thunderstorms or heavy rain. The system combines forecasting based on observations with very demanding numerical weather prediction models in order for a more precise prediction of the development and the tracks of such small-scale weather events up to twelve hours into the future. This will enable better and earlier warnings for local populations,” said Mr. Detlev Majewski, Head of the Department of Meteorological Analysis and Numerical Modelling at the Deutscher Wetterdienst.

DWD provides meteorological and climatological services to German authorities and to the public and beyond, such as short and long-term recording of weather phenomena, monitoring, analysis and prediction of meteorological and climatological processes, sophisticated forecasts and warnings in case of severe weather events. These services help to ensure the safety of traffic routes for public and private transportation on the road, and on aviation and maritime shipping lanes, as well as vital infrastructures like energy supply and communications systems, and to predict flooding and similar natural catastrophes.

DWD introduces a first configuration of the new system based on NEC’s unique vector product NEC SX-Aurora TSUBASA with identical performance compared to their current system by the end of this year. The initial phase will be running simultaneously with the current system to ensure a complete and smooth migration of the computational workload to the new system. After this phase the system will be extended to more than three times the performance by the end of 2020.

For the final phase in 2022, NEC introduces to DWD the next generation of the SX-Aurora TSUBASA product, with unparalleled sustained application performance per power consumption.

The SX-Aurora TSUBASA supercomputer features NEC’s new vector architecture, and uses the most advanced cooling technologies to realize a high-density and high-speed supercomputer with unsurpassed real application performance per power consumption. The new system will also provide the scientists with a user environment completely compatible with contemporary standards. Moreover it features the tightest integration of a vector-architecture with a standard hardware based on x86-systems, enabling new ways of handling different kinds of applications as they appear in such highly complex workflows like DWD’s operations.

The Deutscher Wetterdienst is one of the most respected NEC customers for over 12 years. “We are honored and proud to have been selected by DWD to deliver the new supercomputer system and facilitate the challenging operations and aims for the future. NEC is fully committed to supporting DWD to the best of our abilities and to make this a very successful project for our customer,” said Mr. Tomoyasu Nishimura, Executive Vice President of NEC Corporation in Tokyo, Japan.

The NEC SX-Aurora TSUBASA has achieved the highest performance in DWD’s application portfolio in the public procurement compared to other suppliers. Moreover, it demonstrates the absolute highest available power efficiency on the relevant applications compared to large-scale standard systems,” said Mr. Yuichi Kojima, President of NEC Deutschland in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Dr. Rudolf Fischer, Director of Core Technologies at NEC Deutschland said: “The new hybrid concept of both architectures, vector and scalar, is a paradigm change in the world of High Performance Computing. Programs run on the platform which is best suited. That way, the system combines the advantages of both technologies to a highly efficient solution.”

NEC began shipping the SX-Aurora TSUBASA supercomputer in February 2018 and has delivered over 200 systems so far to customers world-wide. The contract with DWD will last for almost 5 years until 2024.

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