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CEA launches its new EXA1 supercomputer

Atos and the CEA’s Military Applications Division (CEA/DAM) have announced the first partition of “EXA1”, a supercomputer developed based on Atos’ BullSequana XH2000 architecture.

Reaching 14th position in the TOP500 ranking, ‘CEA-HF’ is Europe's most powerful and most energy-efficient supercomputer based on general-purpose CPUs. It has 12,960 AMD processors, this is 829,440 computer processor cores, making it the largest ever installed HPC system based on general-purpose CPUs worldwide. It has a computing power of 23.2 petaflops and power consumption of 4.96 MegaWatts.

Vincenzo SALVETTI, Director of the CEA’s military applications division, says: ‘Developing such a high-level supercomputer is essential for some of the defence programs that we implement at the CEA/DAM. To reach this capacity, technological breakthroughs are needed – such as maintaining low levels of energy consumption, while ensuring that the huge volumes of data produced by increasingly precise simulations can be effectively processed. I am proud that the long-term R&D partnership between Atos and the CEA/DAM allows us to achieve this new major milestone for our program, and leverage CEA/DAM’s innovation capabilities.’

EXA1 features Atos’ 100 per cent highly efficient water-cooled patented Direct Liquid Cooling (DLC) solution, which uses streams of lukewarm water to cool the machine. This feature enables the CEA/DAM to effectively control its energy consumption and reduce costs, while, at the same time, making use of processors with high power requirements.

CEA-HF is interconnected by the second generation of Atos’ BullSequana eXascale Interconnect (BXI v2). Thanks to the full hardware offload of the communications mechanism in the BXI V2, the processor’s usage is optimized, avoiding interferences. The offload boosts the communication performance of HPC applications, enabling CPUs to be fully dedicated to computational tasks while communications are independently managed by the BXI V2. As a result, CEA-HF delivers high communication performance considering bandwidth, latencies, or message rates.

Pierre BARNABÉ, Acting Co-CEO of Atos and head of Atos’ global big data and security division, adds: ‘We’re thrilled that our BullSequana supercomputer continues to boost Europe's scientific excellence and industrial strength, and we are extremely pleased to support CEA in bringing their research and innovation one step further with EXA1.’

As long-standing partners, Atos and CEA/DAM have been collaborating since 2004. EXA1 is the 4th supercomputer that the two companies have developed together, crowning the expertise acquired by the CEA/DAM and Atos HPC team.


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