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Supercomputing centre opened in Lecce, Italy

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The Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change (CMCC) has opened a new Supercomputer Centre in Lecce, Italy, incorporating an NEC high performance vector computer system.

The official opening of the Supercomputing Centre took place in conjunction with a European climate congress called 'The Climate to Come', which was attended by international politicians, scientists and businessmen on 31 January.

The CMCC plans to conduct in-depth research into the impact of climate change in the Mediterranean Central Basin and coastal areas and, at the same time, to drive global climate research together with institutions and scientists from around the globe.

'Everyone on our planet will be affected by the consequences of global warming,' said Professor Antonio Navarra, president of the CMCC. 'It is fundamental that we progress further our scientific insights into climate change and its impacts. To obtain valid results, we need state-of-the-art high performance computers. NEC is one of our most important partners in this project providing us with cutting edge technology that will allow us to push the frontier of climate science into unexplored territory.'

The new CMCC high performance computing centre in Lecce consists of vector and scalar parallel computer systems with integrated memory for the administration of databases of several petabytes in size. All the vector systems are based on NEC supercomputers with a peak rate of over 11.5 teraflops.

The CMCC houses NEC SX-8R nodes and another seven NEC SX-9 systems in total. Additionally, NEC global file systems provide all SX supercomputer users with fast and reliable access to their data. The use of appropriate clients enables other parallel computers at the CMCC to use these file systems, simplifying the CMCC staff's work. The systems are reletively energy efficient due to their high memory bandwidth.

The CMCC's vision is to provide a transparent, seamless and fully compatible environment in the form of an integrated data and computing grid system with advanced technology, modern standards, middleware, protocols and services. The two central issues in the establishment of this grid environment are the integration of internal CMCC sites and their interoperability with further climate data centres. The objective is to drive climate research by networking data centres and users around the world.