July 1, 2022

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High-performance computers: Jupiter supercomputer comes to Julich

As of 06/15/2022 4:43 PM

Forschungszentrum Jülich became the site of the first European supercomputer. Jupiter must break the sound barrier of a trillion calculations per second.

The Juwels and Jureca supercomputers of the Jülich Supercomputing Center (JSC) are some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. They will soon be joined by Jupiter. This will make Jülich the site of the first European computer that can perform more than a trillion calculations per second, the research center in North Rhine-Westphalia announced today. The computing power will exceed five million modern laptops or PCs.

From the Petaflop Era to the Exascale Era

With Jupiter, Europe will advance into the exascale age of computing power. The exaflop token, which is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 arithmetic operations per second, was only recently broken. The Frontier supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States reached 1.1 exaflops in May.

The computing speed of computers has accelerated rapidly in recent years. In 1997, a supercomputer managed a teraflop for the first time, a trillion calculations per second. In 2008, the petaflop era began at a rate of quadrillion arithmetic operations per second. Since then, the race for the next emblematic brand has begun, which the Americans now won with the Frontier supercomputer.

Half a billion euros costs

The new European exascale computer “Jupiter” aims to help solve scientific questions such as climate change, dealing with pandemics and sustainable energy production. The cost of the supercomputer is half a billion euros. Of this, 250 million come from the European Supercomputing Initiative EuroHPC JU and another 250 million from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Ministry of Culture and Science of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

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The new European supercomputer will be installed in a purpose-built building on the Jülich campus from 2023. Prime Minister NRW Hendrik Wüst (CDU) said the computer coming to Jülich was “a prize for science and excellence overall in our state”.

“Green” supercomputer

Astrid Lambrecht, Forschungszentrum Jülich Board Member, explained: “The decision in favor of Jülich as a European computer exascale site will help expand the research center as a premier supercomputing site and a globally visible development center for future technologies.”

The main challenge, however, is Jupiter’s energy requirements. The average expected power is up to 15 MW. The computer is designed to be a “green” computer, so it must be powered entirely by green electricity and cooled by hot water. Forschungszentrum Jülich also wants to recycle waste heat, for example area heating for heating systems.