Pangea III is being built using the same IBM POWER9 AI-optimized, high-performance architecture as used in the U.S. Department of Energy's Summit and Sierra supercomputers. Because IBM POWER9 is optimized to take advantage of attached accelerators, it is designed to help Total not only improve performance but also improve energy efficiency in their HPC workloads.
"Pangea III's additional computing power enhances Total's operational excellence. It enables Total to reduce geological risks in exploration and development, accelerate project maturation and delivery, and increases the value of our assets through optimized field operations, with all this at lower cost", stated Arnaud Breuillac, President of Total Exploration & Production.
Exploring new oil and gas prospects, Total must first create an accurate picture of what lies underground, through the use of seismic data acquisition during exploration campaigns. Geoscientists then use these images to identify where oil and gas resources lie. This process creates massive amounts of data that IBM POWER9 systems can easily handle with industry-exclusive technology.
In a competitive bidding process, Total selected IBM due to an industry-leading approach to GPU-accelerated computing. IBM worked with NVIDIA to jointly develop the industry's only CPU-to-GPU NVIDIA NVLink connection, which allows for 5.6x faster memory bandwidth between the IBM POWER9 CPU and NVIDIA Tesla V100 Tensor Core GPUs than the compared x86-based systemsi. This will help Total to process the vast amount of data required in seismic modeling to get more accurate insights faster than they previously could.
Some of the fields where Total states that they plan to apply Pangea III's compute power include:
"Based on the same IBM technology found in Summit and Sierra, the world's smartest supercomputers, Pangea III demonstrates that IBM Power Systems are not just for the large government or research organizations", stated David Turek, Vice President of Exascale Systems for IBM Systems. "The world's largest businesses, like Total, are now tapping that same technology to profoundly change how they operate. It also gives them room to explore the role IBM Power Systems can play against their most data-intensive workloads like hybrid could and AI."
According to Total, Pangea III, which has a computing power of 25 petaflops (equivalent to 130.000 laptops), with a storage capacity of 50 petabytes, becomes the no. 11 amongst all public and private supercomputers globally. Pangea III is also the #11 overall on the latest iteration of the TOP500 ranking of supercomputers.