Lichtenberg supercomputer inaugurated at Darmstadt University

The Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany has officially inaugurated its new ‘Lichtenberg’ high-performance computer, boasting more than 1,200 teraflops, of which 23 per cent is due to the use of accelerators. Named after scholar Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799), the flexible IBM-made system has different computer architectures, enabling efficient execution of programs on the appropriate architecture for them, and supporting the development of new programs for future parallel computers.

‘The new high-performance computer enables cutting-edge scientific research that is efficient, future-oriented and economically relevant,’ said Professor Dr Hans Jürgen Prömel, president of the Technical University of Darmstadt. ‘I am pleased that we can provide a pioneering computer in an energetically optimised building available to the scientists at the TU Darmstadt in Hesse and other research institutions.’

Lichtenberg is located in a new building that enables free cooling of the system for large parts of the year. During these periods, the refrigerating machine will remain off and the water that cools the computer is cooled only by the heat exchanger on the roof. During cold periods, the heat of the machine is used to heat the building. In terms of energy consumption, the system has an estimated maximum power consumption of 0.65MW.

Phase two of the deployment will be completed in December 2014.

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