IBM SUPERCOMPUTER CHOSEN FOR EARTH SIMULATOR

July 14, 2000

SCIENCE & ENGINEERING

Potsdam, GERMANY — The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), a member of the German G.W. Leibniz Society, has selected a 200 Processor IBM RS/6000 SP system as its next generation supercomputer. This supercomputer will significantly enhance the capabilities of PIK researchers to assess mankind’s impact on climate and other major components of the ecosphere.

The new system – to be installed in October 2000 – will be fifteen times more powerful than the preceding IBM machine operating at PIK since 1994 and it will rank among the 100 most powerful supercomputers in the world. Moreover, the system will be upgraded to teraflop performance in 2002 utilising IBM’s ultra-fast Power4 multichip modules.

According to Professor H. J. Schellnhuber, Managing Director of PIK and Chairman of the German Government Advisory Council on Global Change, only IBM had the competence and capacity to guarantee a technical advantage as well as the necessary stability and continuity which will allow researchers at PIK to focus on their scientific tasks. Prof. Schellnhuber further explained: “We are confident that the unique architecture of the Power4 based system will allow a vast majority of our models to run with very high efficiency. In our field of research, High Performance Computing is absolutely crucial for scientific progress. In addition to its leading-edge technology we recognised the strong and renewed commitment of IBM to collaborate with the scientific community – especially here in Europe. The proposed cooperation with IBM’s Advanced Computing Technology Center (ACTC) is a very valuable asset for us.”

“Letting you concentrate onto your scientific and engineering tasks rather than haggling with computer systems”, said Dr. Ulla Thiel, IBM Manager of Scientific & Technical Computing in Europe, “is the key message we give to our customers. We are very pleased to sign the second IBM Teraflop Supercomputer in Europe within a single month. We are convinced that IBM’s strong and renewed commitment to High Performance Computing is very much appreciated and recognised among the scientific community and seen as a strong driving force for this market.”

In addition to the SP, IBM will install a directly attached Enterprise Server S80 for storage and database management together with approximately 6 TByte of SSA disks at Potsdam. Approximately half of the disk space will be designated to high-speed parallel filesystems. An existing IBM 3494 tape library with state-of-the-art 3590 Magstar tapedrives will be integrated via a storage area network. All systems will be accommodated in new computer facilities at the “Albert Einstein” science park in Potsdam. The supercomputer, as well as the new computer rooms, are jointly financed by the European Union, the German Ministry for Education and Research and the Federal State of Brandenburg.

Today, the SP system is based on the 64-bit, 375 MHz POWER3-II microprocessor, a powerful copper chip developed for IBM’s RS/6000 servers and workstations. The remarkable power of the POWER3-II microprocessor is derived from IBM pioneered copper wiring. Copper increases microprocessor performance substantially compared with chips that use traditional aluminium.

The RS/6000 SP is a highly scaleable system made up of building blocks called nodes. An SP system can consist of just one or two nodes all the way up to hundreds of nodes. The system’s performance scales almost linearly with its size. Each node contains one to sixteen microprocessors and its own random access memory (RAM) and disk storage. IBM sells several types of nodes that can be mixed in one system and used together for large computing jobs, or separately for smaller tasks.

More than one million IBM RS/6000 systems have been shipped to over 150,000 commercial and technical customers around the world. The RS/6000 family of computers feature IBM RISC-based microprocessors and run AIX, IBM’s UNIX operating system. RS/6000 products range in size and capacity from workstations, workgroup and enterprise servers, to the RS/6000 SP supercomputer. For more information about RS/6000 systems and the AIX operating system, see the RS/6000 home page at http://www.rs6000.ibm.com .

The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) was founded in 1992. Its mission is to develop and establish a new scientific field which could be described as Earth System Analysis (ESA). A profound understanding of natural and socioeconomic processes and their interactions is needed to describe the dynamics of global change, such as climate change and changes in human land use, based on ESA methods. For further Information about the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research see PIK homepage at http://www.pik-potsdam.de .

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