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Kollegienhaus (Blick aus dem Schlossgarten) (Photo: FAU/Erich Malter)

MEGWARE hands over new high-performance computer “MEGGIE” to Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Bavaria


11.01.2017

Chemnitz, 09/01/2017 – MEGWARE headquarters



Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) is further expanding its high-performance computing (HPC) resources, and in doing so is making an important contribution to boosting the Erlangen-Nuremberg area’s reputation as a research centre. The FAU has agreed a contract for the installation of a new high-performance computer with Chemnitz-based MEGWARE Computer Vertrieb und Service GmbH. The new system will both replace the ageing HPC systems at the Erlangen Regional Computing Centre (RRZE), and increase its available processing power. MEGWARE beat seven other competitors to win the EU-wide tender, estimated to be worth around €2.4 million.



The new supercomputer is based on the latest “Broadwell EP” server microprocessors from Intel and draws its computing power from more than 14,000 processing cores. The individual dual socket nodes are connected via a high-speed network (Intel OmniPath), thereby making it possible to run highly complex simulation tasks efficiently for the first time. The system was tested using the LINPACK benchmark in November 2016, recording a result of 472.15 TFlop/s (Rmax) (billion processing operations per second). This result puts it at number 346 in the Top500 list (www.top500.org).



The new system has around a third more cores and nodes than the most powerful existing HPC system at the FAU, as well as almost double the theoretical peak processing performance. If and to what extent simulation applications will benefit from the increase in peak processing performance generated by the new architecture depends on to what degree the applications are optimised. And it is precisely on this interface between complex technology and the needs of the scientists that the HPC team at the RRZE is focusing its efforts. It is helping scientists from the FAU and around the local region to use the high-performance systems efficiently and to ensure maximum performance improvements for their applications. These activities are supported by the Bavarian State Ministry for Science, Research and Art via the High-Tech-Offensive Bayern funding project as part of the KONWIHR programme.



Access to the high-performance computers at the RRZE, and therefore the new systems, is offered to all scientists at the Friedrich-Alexander University whose departments’ own PCs and servers cannot cope with their highly complex simulation tasks. The areas of application are widespread: although the systems are predominately used by customers from the fields of material sciences and physics, scientists working in the areas of life sciences, theoretical chemistry, engineering, applied mathematics and information technology have also all been using the systems at the RRZE for many years. Some of the newest customers to take advantage of the systems include Prof. Mölg and his team of climate researchers from the geography faculty, who have contributed to a significant increase in computing time requirements at the FAU.



“The successful partnership between MEGWARE and the Free State of Bavaria is set to continue with this new supercomputer. “MEGGIE” will not only considerably increase the computing capacity of the university, but will also boost Bavaria’s status as a research location through this leap upwards onto the list of the world’s 500 fastest computers”, says MEGWARE spokesman, Jörg Heydemüller.

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