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By Biocat

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center–Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) is working to replace their MareNostrum II supercomputer with a new version that will increase calculation capacity more than tenfold. The work to make these changes will last through early 2013, but part of the new machine (70% of the total) was already included on the Top 500 global ranking of supercomputers, coinciding with the SC12 international supercomputing fair in Salt Lake City (Utah, USA), ranked 36th in the world and 12th in Europe.

The new supercomputer will require a total investment of €22.7 millions, contributed mainly by the Spanish Government and ERDF funds.

MareNostrum is manufactured by IBM with IDataPlex technology, which allows all the necessary components to be grouped in very little space (120 square meters). In fact, the supercomputer is located in a unique spot, an old chapel that has been renovated near the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC).

The initial version, installed in 2004, had a calculation capacity of 42.35 Teraflops per second (42 billion operations per second). It was updated in 2006 and MareNostrum II reached a capacity of 94.21 Teraflops/s. MareNostrum III will have a capacity of over 1 Petaflop/s (one thousand billion operations per second). It will only use 28% more power than the current MareNostrum.

A supercomputer to remain in the European elite

By substituting MareNostrum, the BSC-CNS will be able to better serve the scientific and technological community in the public and private sectors, as well as meeting their commitments with the PRACE research infrastructure (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe). PRACE brings together the elite supercomputing centers in Europe and leads development in this area on the continent. Spain heads up this European platform along with Germany, France and Italy.

Since 2004, MareNostrum has provided service to more than two thousand scientific and technical research projects. Today, supercomputers are a key pillar of science and engineering. Without them, numerous research studies and projects that require notable capacity for calculation and data treatment would be impossible.

BSC-CNS, at SC12 fair

BSC-CNS is participating actively this week in the SC12 fair (Utah, United States). Researchers from this center will give more than a dozen tutorials, workshops and one scientific conference focusing on breakthroughs in OmpSs programming models created at BSC-CNS and in research into the future Exascale supercomputers.

BSC-CNS was recognized in 2011 as a Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence, is managed by the Spanish Supercomputing Network (RES) and is a top-level member of the PRACE infrastructure.

The bodies that make up the BSC-CNS consortium are the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (51%), the Catalan Ministry of Economy and Knowledge (37%) and the UPC (12%).

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