New High Performance Computer Cluster One Of The World’s Fastest Supercomputers
17 July 2015
A new high-performance computer cluster, known as the bwForCluster MLS&WISO, qualified the University of Heidelberg and the University of Mannheim for inclusion in the list of the top 500 fastest supercomputers in the world. The bwForCluster MLS&WISO is used in the molecular life sciences (MLS) and the economic and social sciences (WISO); the production piece ranks 297th and the development piece 331st in the list, which was recently presented at the 2015 International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt. Five million euros in financing for the system, which is also used to develop methods in scientific computing, were provided by the state of Baden-Württemberg, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the university.
The bwForCluster MLS&WISO has several thousand processor cores. The cluster’s production component, which offers permanent computing capacity, is distributed between the computing centre of the University of Mannheim and the university computing centre of Ruperto Carola. Its processing speed is 241.1 teraFLOP per second. The development component offers a flexible, innovative infrastructure for developing new methods and algorithms; it is run jointly with the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing at Heidelberg University and supports 222.7 teraFLOP per second. Companies from Germany and Switzerland built both components. The bwForCluster MLS&WISO is part of the high performance computing strategy of the state of Baden-Württemberg, which is setting up high performance computer clusters at four university locations to explore strategically important research foci.
The TOP 500 list of the fastest supercomputers is based on the LINPACK benchmark, which is a measure of a computer’s floating-point rate of execution. Both the production and the development pieces of the high-performance computer cluster of the universities of Heidelberg and Mannheim qualified for the list just shortly after the hardware was delivered and set up. Both parts of the system will be prepared and optimised for operation over the next several weeks. New resources for users are expected to be released by the upcoming winter semester.