June 6, 2018 — Inaugurated at the ENEA Research Center in Portici, near Naples, the CRESCO6 supercomputer is the most powerful computing infrastructure in southern Italy. It has immediate relevance to the entire Italian scientific scene thanks to a computational capacity of 700 thousand billion mathematical operations per second. The inauguration was attended by Professor Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee, one of the world’s leading supercomputing experts, as well as leading Italian companies such as Eni and Avio.
“With CRESCO6 we aim to become a national reference point for public institutions, universities and companies with high technological needs, providing the latest-generation simulation and modeling tools to support research and development,” said Silvio Migliori, head of the ENEA division for Systems Development for Informatics and ICT.
“Thanks to a calculation power 7 times higher than previous versions, we will be able to perform data processing in just a few weeks that previously required a year of work, such as creating predictive models for the study of climate change and air pollution forecasts with high accuracy,” said Giovanni Bracco, head of ENEA’s Infrastructure for Scientific Computing laboratory.
In addition to climate and air quality, there are many application areas for the ENEA supercomputer: from the study of new materials for the production of clean energy to simulations for the management of critical infrastructures, from biotechnology to computational chemistry, from fluid dynamics for aerospace to the development of nuclear fusion code.
A result of the partnership between ENEA and CINECA, the largest computing center in Italy, CRESCO6 is joining two other supercomputers of the Agency which are already installed and operational in the ENEA research center in Portici.
The new supercomputing system is one of the strategic actions envisaged by ENEA’s 2018-2020 development plan, designed to place it among the major national actors of High Performance Computing (HPC). “The goal now is to complete the infrastructure with a 10 Gb/s network connection to enhance big data processing activities in the energy, sustainable transportation, smart city and cultural heritage sectors, but also to guarantee our participation in centers of excellence at international level, such as the Energy oriented Center of Excellence for Computing Applications (EoCoE), of which ENEA is a partner,” says Massimo Celino, an ENEA expert in computational materials science.
EoCoE is one of eight European centers of excellence for supercomputing applications funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program with the aim of ensuring European positioning in HPC and accelerating the energy transition towards a low-carbon economy in strategic sectors, such as new materials, climate change, research on nuclear fusion, water management and development of new numerical models, which can exploit the growing computational power of HPC infrastructures such as CRESCO6.
This YouTube playlist includes a series of relevant videos about CRESCO6 as well as interviews with ENEA experts (Silvio Migliori, Giovanni Bracco and Massimo Celino), Prof. Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee and Paolo Bellomi, AVIO technical manager.