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here is the new king of European supercomputers!

It becomes the most powerful supercomputer in Europe and the third most powerful in the world… with a negative carbon footprint?

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking consortium, a consortium of 10 European countries specialized in high performance computing (HPC), has just announced the entry into the scene of its new supercomputer; the time has come to revise your bows in front of LUMI, the new king of this discipline on the Old Continent!

His arrival represents a big change in the European ecosystem. Until now, it was Adastra, the supercomputer of the French GENCI – CINES which was entitled to this crown. But despite its excellent performance, this monster which accumulates more than 300,000 processing sub-units simply could not compete with the titans at the top of the ranking.

As a reminder, these tests reason in terms of flops (Floating Point Operations Per Second). It is a unit of measurement that quantifies the number of operations that a system is able to perform in one second.

On the High Performance Linpack benchmark, which serves as a benchmark in this field, Adastra was able to operate at an average of 46 PFlops, or 46 million billion operations per second. A score that made it so far the 9th supercomputer in the world in terms of raw power. But with LUMI, Europe passes into another dimension.

The new European HPC champion

Like many supercomputers at the moment, this machine assembled by HP sails entirely under the AMD flag. It is based on HPC processors from the AMD EPYC range which each provide 64 cores.

The GPU side is managed by Radeon Instinct, and everything can count on 32 TB (32,000 GB) of RAM. This material allows him toreach 151.90 PFlops; it is ahead of the famous IBM Summit by a short head. He thus settled on the third step of the world podium. And it will even progress, since its GPU segment is not even fully installed!

© Top500

On the other hand, it still pales in comparison to the two titans who occupy the first places of the famous Top500; these modifications will unfortunately not allow him to hope to grab second place. As it is, it remains three times less powerful than the Fugaku, the Japanese supercomputer that dominated the category for two years. It is also 7 times less powerful than Frontier, the new undisputed master of this category that we were telling you about recently.

On the other hand, LUMI still has a leading argument to make: its energy performance. This data is measured in GFlops/watt, that is to say the number of operations per second that the machine can perform with an energy budget of one watt. And at this level, LUMI is simply phenomenal.

A modern machine that takes ecological issues into account

Until now, this metric was dominated by… Adastra (him again), with an incredible 50.028 Flops per watt. It was an exception, because the more you increase the raw power, the more difficult it is to maintain this sensational profitability. Adastra therefore represented a very impressive intermediary; it was one of the few to feature both in the top 500 which reasons in terms of raw power, and also in the Green500 which ranks them according to their energy efficiency.

Or, LUMI does even better with 51,629 Flops per watt, while it is three times more powerful than the French supercomputer ! He therefore achieved the feat of arriving in 3rd position in both rankings at the same time; for a decade, only Adastra (9th and 3rd) and the incomparable Frontier (largely 1st on both criteria) have managed to place themselves in the top 10.

It therefore consumes very little energy despite its power. In addition, 100% of the electricity needed comes from a renewable source, namely a hydroelectric power station. And the icing on the cake is that the heat produced will be fed back into the geothermal network of the Finnish town of Kajaani, where it is based! According to its designers, it is therefore the very first elite supercomputer with a technically negative overall carbon footprint – even if this term must be taken with tweezers.

This is therefore excellent news for the entire European scientific community; researchers can now reserve operating time to put this new high-tech toy at the service of concrete progress.

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