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May 26, 2009
Gauss Centre for Supercomputing gets the first European petaflop computer / Three new supercomputers for European research now in Jülich
JÜLICH, May 26 -- No less than three supercomputers for European research were unveiled today in Jülich in a ceremony attended by the Federal Minister for Education and Research, Prof. Dr. Annette Schavan, and the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Dr. Jürgen Rüttgers. The three computers include the supercomputer JUGENE, which with a computing power of one petaflop/s, that is to say a quadrillion arithmetic operations per second, is currently the fastest computer in Europe.
"The supercomputer at Forschungszentrum Jülich shows that North Rhine-Westphalia is already one of the leaders in strategically important sectors," said Prime Minister Rüttgers. "We want to make North Rhine-Westphalia the top state for innovation -- and Forschungszentrum Jülich with its excellent research will make a major contribution to achieving this goal."
"This is a good day for the German Gauss Centre and a good day for Europe as well. Acquiring JUGENE demonstrates Germany's bid for leadership in supercomputing," said Minister Schavan. The three national supercomputing centres in Stuttgart, Garching and Jülich together form the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing. They coordinate work within Germany in order to provide scientific users with hardware, software and support creating an optimum research environment. "Today confirms our strategy," says Schavan, "that this model of partnership in supercomputing is right for Germany."
"The supercomputer JUGENE will secure Europe independent access to a decisive key technology of the 21st century," said Prof. Dr. Achim Bachem, chairman of the board of directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich and coordinator of the European Supercomputing Alliance PRACE. PRACE is funded by the EU and will coordinate the creation of a Europe-wide computer infrastructure. Bachem expressed special thanks to the Federal Government and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for the many years of support and funding.
Researchers from all disciplines make use of supercomputers in order to discover how the climate is changing, how proteins are folded in cells, how new semiconductors function or how fuel cells can be improved. Jülich's approach is to provide a system of complementary computers with a suitable platform for all applications.
"The new Jülich supercomputer will be able to perform a quadrillion arithmetic operations per second, known as a petaflop/s for short," explained the director of the Jülich Supercomputing Centre, Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Lippert. "In doing so, JUGENE makes use of the most energy-efficient computer technology currently available," added Lippert.
Source: Forschungszentrum Jülich
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