MareNostrum 5, the highest EU investment in a research infrastructure in Spain

On 7 June, the European Commission (EC) has officially announced that EuroHPC has selected Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) as one of the institutions that will host a pre-exascale supercomputer in the high-capacity supercomputer network that will operate in the EU in 2021. The EC announcement describes the plan to acquire 3 pre-exascale machines with a peak performance of at least 150 Petaflops: Barcelona (Spain), Bolonia (Italy) and Kajaani (Finland).

The future MareNostrum 5 will be a heterogenous supercomputer that will achieve a peak performance of 200 Petaflops (200 · 1015 of operations per second), which is 18 times more than current MareNostrum 4.

The heterogenous architecture, probably based on two big clusters with different characteristics, will optimize both response times and energy use of the different works that the future supercomputer will have to compute. Some works, for instance, mainly require a high computing capacity, whereas others need more capacity of analysis in real time, and others need both types of capacities, such as the ones regarding personalized medicine or the simulation of power generation processes.

Moreover, the new supercomputer MareNostrum 5, apart from offering first-rate supercomputing services for European researchers, will incorporate an experimental platform aimed at developing new technologies for the future generation of supercomputers that will use only European processors.

MareNostrum 5 will have a cost of 223 millions of Euros, which is the expected budget for the purchase, installation and operation for 5 years. The 50% of this budget will be funded by the EU, and the other 50% by the states that will be a part of the consortium that support the proposal: Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Croatia.

Josep M. Martorell (BSC associate director), Mateo Valero (BSC director) and Sergi Girona (BSC Operations director).

Yesterday, 10 June, the Director General of Communication, Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect) of the European Commission (EC), Roberto Viola visited officially BSC to explain the European HPC roadmap towards exascale and the selection of BSC as one of the three centres that will host pre-exascale computers co-funded by the European Union (EU): “These top performing systems that we will be deploying will provide Europe with the high-quality capacities it needs to keep pace with its global competitors. They will help our scientists to tackle research questions highly relevant for our society in fields as diverse as climate change, personalised medicine, brain functioning, cosmology and many more, and accelerate innovation in areas vital for the competitiveness of our economy such as manufacturing, engineering or designing new materials and new drugs”.

BSC’s director, Mateo Valero, reminded us that the great challenges of society, such as the study of climate change and the development of new energies (such as fusion), will need exascale computers, which are much more powerful than the ones we have today, with characteristics following today’s needs of researchers and with proportionally less energy use than the current one, which will require further research”.

From our group we would like to thank those who have worked really hard to make possible this great news that will benefit our research in the fusion energy field.

Source: BSC News

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