University of Reims Supercomputer Ranked 5th on Green500 List

November 21, 2013

Nov. 21 — The University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne is proud to be ranked 5th in the Green500 list published during the SC Conference in Denver, CO on November 20, 2013. The Green500 list is a ranking of the most energy-efficient supercomputers in the world. Systems listed in the Green500 must feature in the latest TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers – the University of Reims’ supercomputer is ranked 151th in the TOP500 list released at the SC Conference.

“This new cluster fully meets the needs expressed by our researchers in terms of performance, efficiency and ease of use. The Romeo system will accelerate their research in various fields such as applied mathematics, physics and engineering sciences or multiscale molecular modeling. It will be also open to our academic and industrial partners at the European level. We have been able to set up this system thanks to our long-term partnership with BULL and NVIDIA. Finally, we would like to thank the European Regional Development Fund, the French government, the Champagne-Ardenne Region and the City of Reims for their support,” said Professor Michael Krajecki, CEO of the ROMEO HPC center.

The “Romeo” system has been fully operational since October. Powered by 260 NVIDIA Tesla K20X GPU accelerators housed in 130bullx R421 E3 servers, the system delivers 254.9 Tflops of performance based on the Linpack benchmark and features a free-cooling system based on the Bull Cool Cabinet Door.

It will be available for both industrial and academic researchers in the region, along with a panoply of services, including secured storage, software and support, as well as in-depth expertise in different engineering fields: HPC, applied mathematics, physics, biophysics and chemistry.

To herald the full hybrid cluster, the ROMEO HPC Center launched the ROMEO challenge “Exceed the limits.” This challenge is an opportunity to overcome all the usual limitations and to test out the new Tesla K20X GPU-based cluster. It is open to all European researchers and companies. 5 million computing hours will be allocated to projects that can exploit a significant portion, or the totality, of this unique scientific platform, after selection by the ROMEO Scientific Committee.

“Bull is proud of its long-standing partnership with the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in high-performance computing. The outstanding efficiency of the new Romeo system clearly demonstrates the real scalability of Bull architecture,” declared Michel Guillemet, VP Innovative Products at Bull.

“The Romeo system enables researchers in universities all over France to accelerate their scientific discoveries using GPU accelerators,” said Sumit Gupta, General Manager of the Tesla Accelerated Computing product line at NVIDIA. “The use of GPU-accelerated supercomputers is key to improving France’s economic output by dramatically improving product design and fueling the next generation of scientific breakthroughs.”

Furthermore, the ROMEO HPC Center has been involved since 2011 in the French Computing strategy as a special tier-2 to tier-1 provisioning center since it is a member of the Equip@meso consortium founded by the French government (Investissements d’Avenir) and coordinated by GENCI (Organization for French High Performance Computing in public research). The scope of this project is to develop 10 medium-sized HPC centers, both in terms of computing power and their ability to develop joint projects with SMEs.

“We are delighted about the availability of this 250 TFlops hybrid system at ROMEO. It will reinforce French regional capacity in Equip@meso infrastructure and will extend the HPC-PME program, the national initiative aimed at SMEs with Inria, BPI France and GENCI in the Champagne-Ardenne Region. By benefiting from this equipment and the skills of the ROMEO team, we will help French SMEs assess the potential for them of using numerical simulation and HPC for increasing their industrial competitiveness,” said Stéphane Requena, CTO of GENCI.

The ROMEO HPC Center – Champagne Ardenne is an HPC platform hosted by the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne and supported by the Champagne-Ardenne Region since 2002.

Its mission is to deliver high performance computing resources for both industrial and academic researchers in the region, along with an entire panoply of services such as secured storage space, specific software and support in its usage, as well as in-depth expertise in different engineering fields: HPC, applied mathematics, physics, biophysics and chemistry.

All these resources allow industrial and academic research teams to reduce their investments in equipment and personnel, while taking advantage of the latest technology and a support team of dedicated engineers. This represents a strong advantage in today’s competitive environment, where modeling and simulation can significantly cut costs and development times for new research projects.

Since 2007, researchers have started to take an interest in GPU computing. This new field adds substantial computing power to our servers and allows new industrial challenges to be tackled that have a direct impact on people’s lives in areas such as public transportation optimization or the development of new therapeutic approaches.

The ROMEO HPC Center has been involved since 2011 in the French Computing strategy as a special tier-2 to tier-1 provisioning center since it is a member of the Equip@meso consortium founded by the French government (Investissements d’Avenir) and coordinated by GENCI (Organization for French High Performance Computing in public research). The scope of this project is to develop 10 medium-sized HPC centers, both in terms of computing power and their ability to develop joint projects with SMEs.

The University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne (URCA) is a multidisciplinary university which develops innovative, fundamental and applied research in more than 30 laboratories. With 1,557 professors and professor-researchers-including 126 hospital practitioners-as well as a technical and administrative staff of 1,038, URCA hosts more than 22,000 students from undergraduate to doctorate graduation level over the whole Champagne-Ardenne Region: Reims (main site), Troyes, Charleville-Mézières, Châlons en Champagne and Chaumont.

The university makes a large contribution to the development of Champagne-Ardenne through its partnerships with local and national companies and the regional authorities.

URCA wishes to attract international students and has consequently begun the construction of an interregional and international cluster (PRES) which will include the main higher education institutions of the Champagne-Ardenne and Picardie Regions, and Walloon universities in Belgium.

Located close to the Ile-de-France -30 minutes from central Paris and Roissy Airport by TGV-, the Rhineland, Northern Europe and Italy, URCA occupies a geostrategic position which is favorable to European and international exchanges.

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Source: Bull

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