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Primeur weekly 2019-01-28

Focus

Prof. Dieter Kranzlmüller from the Leibniz Supercomputer Centre on German and European HPC: being best is better than being first ...

Quantum computing

Purdue dives deeper into potentially game-changing field of quantum science and engineering ...

Focus on Europe

New e-IRGSP6 support project held its kick-off meeting in Luxembourg ...

Powerful supercomputing to propel France's high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) research and development ...

PRACE to issue Call for Proposals for HPC compute resources from DECI-15 (Tier-1) ...

PRACE Summer of HPC 2019 has opened applications ...

New 2 Petaflop/s supercomputer at the University of Antwerp  ...

Dutch Government plans additional 100 million euro investment in science including 30 million for SKA Square Kilometre Array ...

Middleware

CMU's DeltaFS team aims to create smarter ways to organize and store supercomputer data ...

ScaleMP announces record results ...

Hardware

DDN's turnaround of Tintri wins Information Technology Deal of the Year Award ...

CSC, the Finnish IT Center for Science, and the Finnish Meteorological Institute select 200 Gigabit HDR InfiniBand to accelerate multi-phase supercomputer programme ...

2CRSI and "SNB Middle East" announce a distribution agreement ...

Aldec facilitates design prototyping in FPGA and prototype testing with new HES Proto-AXI ...

Applications

January kicks off a busy year of research as scientists gain access to the world's fastest supercomputer ...

National Center for Computational Sciences introduces HPC Core Operations Group ...

Network enhancement strengthens ties between OLCF and ESnet ...

Materials design centre receives $25 million grant ...

Birth of massive black holes in the early universe revealed ...

Transparent electronics research gains momentum ...

New insights into magnetic quantum effects in solids ...

Pilot line project lnPulse launches to give Europe edge in integrated photonics ...

New 2 Petaflop/s supercomputer at the University of Antwerp


23 Jan 2019 Antwerp - It may not look spectacular, but its performance certainly is: with their acquisition of an NVIDIA DGX-2, the University of Antwerp and imec have become the first university in the Benelux to own the latest generation of supercomputer. "This computer has a calculation speed of two petaflops per second", explained Steven Latré, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Antwerp/imec.

The University of Antwerp has had a supercomputer - the CalcUA - which has a calculating power of 240 teraflops for several years now. It can perform 240 trillion (1012) 'floating point operations per second' (flops), which are calculations like sums or multiplications, and is mainly used for scientific research. Sometimes it is also made available to companies.

The DGX-1, the first version of NVIDIA's DGX supercomputer, which has a computing power of 960 teraflops, has been used by imec's City of Things teams since late 2017 for 'deep learning' of camera images for smart city cases. For example, the DGX-1 can help researchers understand contexts and pedestrian behaviours on zebra crossings with traffic lights in order to make them safer and more efficient.

In addition to the CalcUA at UAntwerp and the DGX-1 at imec, a new supercomputer will now be installed at IDLab, an imec research group at the University of Antwerp. Despite its super performance, it is not supersized: the NVIDIA DGX-2 is no bigger than a small refrigerator. "We're going to make enormous strides in terms of processing power", stated Steven Latré. "This new computer can handle up to two petaflops of calculations per second. One petaflop amounts to 10 to the 15th power, or a quadrillion. That's a number we can barely wrap our human heads around. It will be 8.3 times faster than the CalcUA."

The new computer is essential for tackling today's challenges. Steven Latré stated: "We've now entered the age of artificial intelligence and deep learning. Our researchers constantly need a tremendous amount of computing power. When training new AI systems, they often have to wait several hours to get a result. A good combination of CPUs - central processing units - and GPUs - graphics processing units - is crucial in this regard."

When it came to actually purchasing this new, unique piece of infrastructure, the University of Antwerp approached Robovision, a Ghent-based AI company. "The NVIDIA DGX-2 is the world's first single server to have a calculation speed of two petaflops. That means its deep-learning processing power outstrips that of 300 conventional computer servers combined. The DGX-2 is also the very first unit to be installed at a university in the Benelux", stated CEO Jonathan Berte.

"It is very important that universities and research centres invest in such supercomputers", Pieter Abbeel, a Belgian AI pioneer in Silicon Valley, recently said during his Belgian tour. "There is really only one factor limiting today's race to smarter AI models and assistants, and that's the performance of the computers available. In places where innovative research is being carried out, the DGX-2 will prove to be an essential asset. The supercomputer will allow the University of Antwerp and imec researchers to learn much faster and to make rapid advances in the development and application of artificial intelligence in research, industry and society."

Several projects involving the NVIDIA DGX-2 are already in the pipeline at the University of Antwerp. It will be used in the fight against malaria, for example, in collaboration with Robovision. Jonathan Berte stated: "Today, medical staff are still analysing thousands of cells manually, while intelligent algorithms can do the same work in a fraction of a second. More people can now be diagnosed faster and more accurately thanks to artificial intelligence. Robovision makes training these algorithms with the RVAI toolbox up to 250 times faster. Similar experiments conducted in the American government's research department (National Institutes of Health) now take a full day, but this waiting time could be reduced to a trip to the coffee machine with Robovision."
Source: University of Antwerp

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2019-01-28

Focus

Prof. Dieter Kranzlmüller from the Leibniz Supercomputer Centre on German and European HPC: being best is better than being first ...

Quantum computing

Purdue dives deeper into potentially game-changing field of quantum science and engineering ...

Focus on Europe

New e-IRGSP6 support project held its kick-off meeting in Luxembourg ...

Powerful supercomputing to propel France's high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) research and development ...

PRACE to issue Call for Proposals for HPC compute resources from DECI-15 (Tier-1) ...

PRACE Summer of HPC 2019 has opened applications ...

New 2 Petaflop/s supercomputer at the University of Antwerp  ...

Dutch Government plans additional 100 million euro investment in science including 30 million for SKA Square Kilometre Array ...

Middleware

CMU's DeltaFS team aims to create smarter ways to organize and store supercomputer data ...

ScaleMP announces record results ...

Hardware

DDN's turnaround of Tintri wins Information Technology Deal of the Year Award ...

CSC, the Finnish IT Center for Science, and the Finnish Meteorological Institute select 200 Gigabit HDR InfiniBand to accelerate multi-phase supercomputer programme ...

2CRSI and "SNB Middle East" announce a distribution agreement ...

Aldec facilitates design prototyping in FPGA and prototype testing with new HES Proto-AXI ...

Applications

January kicks off a busy year of research as scientists gain access to the world's fastest supercomputer ...

National Center for Computational Sciences introduces HPC Core Operations Group ...

Network enhancement strengthens ties between OLCF and ESnet ...

Materials design centre receives $25 million grant ...

Birth of massive black holes in the early universe revealed ...

Transparent electronics research gains momentum ...

New insights into magnetic quantum effects in solids ...

Pilot line project lnPulse launches to give Europe edge in integrated photonics ...