Świerk supercomputer among the world’s fastest computing systems

Superkomputer ze Świerku wśród najszybszych instalacji obliczeniowych świata


The developed in NCBJ Świerk Computer Centre (CIS) computer cluster has been ranked 155th on the prestigious TOP500 list of the world’s top supercomputers.

The TOP500 ranking of the world’s top supercomputers built for scientists has been periodically compiled since 1993. The most recent 45th edition of the ranking was published on July 13, 2015. The Chinese Tianhe-2 (Milky Way-2) machine has retained its position as the world’s No. 1 system, clearly ahead of competitors from USA and Japan. However, US supercomputers occupy more positions on the list (almost half of it) than machines from any other country. The CIS-operated system has been ranked 155th on the list with its 423 TFLOP/s measured speed, and the 4th fastest computer cluster operated in Poland. Seven such systems from Poland found their places on the TOP500 list.

Back in July 2013 when we started the project, its rated performance at the 500 TFLOPS level would give us a place among world’s sixty top computer clusters. However, the supercomputer market has been developing very rapidly in recent years. Today, such a performance is enough just for a place in the second hundred of the ranking – admits Dr. Adam Padée, Head of the CIS Computing Infrastructure Team. – However, our data centre is among the most efficient facilities in the world taking into account that its measured performance was as high as 86% of its rated performance. Its 1.02Power Usage Effectiveness (i.e. ratio of total used energy to the energy delivered to its computing equipment) is equally good. In other similarly liquid-cooled systems typically 1.05…1.10 PUE values are observed.

Hot water-based cooling technology applied in CIS data centre has made possible to reduce up to 80% of power that would be otherwise necessary to cool supercomputer subassemblies down. Savings may reach 0.5 million PLN each year. The technology is currently recommended by European Commission for newly built large data centres as the most environment-friendly cooling solution.

From the point of view of a research Institute that has a limited budget to spend we have managed to develop in Świerk an optimum supercomputer. Some applied intelligent solutions help to make the most out of every single of its processors and out of every single Watt of power consumed by it – summarizes Professor Wojciech Wiślicki, CIŚ Project Leader.

The supercomputer developed within the CIS project framework is currently one of the four fastest computing facilities in Poland. Its hardware includes 1,916 processors (19,880 cores), 119.75 TB RAM memory, and over 2.9 PB disk storage. In parallel to developing the computer cluster itself, NCBJ has been organizing an interdisciplinary team of scientists and experts. Project mission is to provide IT support for the Polish power industry, both nuclear and conventional. Supercomputer applications in that field include design/optimization calculations for power generation/distribution facilities/networks, nuclear reactor safety analyses, radiation protection monitoring/threat simulations, support for crisis management decision-makers. CIS’s own R&D topics include safety of operation of nuclear reactors, analyses of chemical hazards, simulations of complex setups.

Total value of the CIS project exceeds 124 million PLN. The project is financed from European Regional Development Fund within framework of the Innovative Economy Operational Programme and from a target subsidy from the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education.