The computer centre is one of the components (4) of the Broader Approach agreement, a complement to the ITER project which began in October 2007 as part of a framework of co-operation between Japan and Europe. F4E should co-ordinate the European contribution to the Broader Approach Activities as JAEA should be the Japanese counterpart.
The supercomputer will be available to a scientific community of more than 1,000 European and Japanese fusion researchers for the next five years starting from January 2012.
The operation of the supercomputer will begin with a few high-visibility code runs, otherwise known as "light-house projects" because of the light they are expected to shed with their findings, to test drive the capacities of the supercomputer and achieve maximum performance. During the rest of its exploitation period, European and Japanese researchers will be invited to submit proposals which will be selected according to their importance for the development of ITER and fusion research. The volume of findings stemming from this activity will feed into the plasma codes in preparation for ITER and into the design of the future DEMO reactor.
The supercomputer will exceed the petaflop performance and will be the third machine designed and developed by Bull reaching this level of performance. Today, supercomputers are used by many research and production centres around the world, in fields such as energy, life and health sciences, climate research, automotive, aeronautics, finance and risk analysis.
Because of its expertise in the field of high performance computing, CEA has been entrusted by F4E to run the full operation for Europe. The operational control of the computer centre will be overseen on site by a CEA director assisted by a deputy from JAEA.
JAEA contribution to the project includes the delivering and managing part of the infrastructure required to host the supercomputer as well as local support for users and programmers.
The new supercomputer is designed to be operational 24 hours per day. Its peak performance of almost 1.3 petaflops places it among the most powerful systems in the world. The computing components combine, within a "cluster" architecture, 4410 blades bullx series B including 8820 Intel Xeon processors of the "Sandy Bridge" type and 70,560 cores. The supercomputer is equipped with a memory exceeding 280 terabytes and a high bandwidth storage system of more than 5.7 petabytes, supplemented by a secondary storage system designed to support 50 petabytes. The connection network for the cluster is based on InfiniBand technology.
To supplement the computing component, 36 bullx series S systems and 38 bullx series R systems will be used for the cluster's administration; for management of the Lustre file systems and for user access.
Bull will also provide 32 bullx series R systems including high-performance graphics cards for pre-and post processing and visualization.
The supercomputer will be equipped with the bullx supercomputer suite advanced edition, the software suite developed and optimized by Bull for petaflop class systems based on the Linux� operating system and including many Open Source components.
Bull will be responsible for the design and realization of the electrical and liquid cooling infrastructures within the computer rooms. It will also be responsible for installation, maintenance and operation of the supercomputer and its peripheral equipment for five years.
For all these services, Bull will be assisted by its local partner SGI Japan Ltd. The installation of the supercomputer in Rokkasho will start in June this year.