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Europe's Queen of the Computers

New Supercomputer at German research center „Forschungszentrum Juelich“ passes 5 Petaflop/s barrier

Juelich, Germany, November 12, 2012 – the new high performance Computer JUQUEEN at Forschungszentrum Juelich has reached the new top position as Europe's fastest supercomputer and 5th fastest in the world by the current TOP500 List, published recently. As the first supercomputer in Europe to reach a compute performance of 5 Petaflop/s – equating to 5 quadrillion operations per second – the system opens up new possibilities for research intensive grand projects and a wider spectrum of participating work groups.

"With JUQUEEN, Forschungszentrum Juelich positions itself again as a leading site for scientific calculations", comments Prof. Achim Bachem, Chairman of the Board of Forschungszentrum Juelich on the news. "Scientists can find ideal conditions here to conduct extensive climate and atmosphere simulations, create comprehensive models of the human brain and of galaxies, and study new materials and parts."

With 393,216 compute cores, the new system reaches a peak performance of 5.033 Petaflop/s, which equates to approximately 100,000 PCs based on a current performance level. Early 2013, a further extension is planned from today's 24 racks up to 28 racks.

JUQUEEN is an IBM BlueGene/Q system based on the IBM POWER architecture. Supercomputers of this kind are among the most energy efficient supercomputers in the world with a performance/power ratio of approximately 2 Gigaflop/s per Watt. JUQUEEN provides a fivefold improvement in energy efficienca compared to its predecessor JUGENE thanks to a direct water cooling system that takes away heat directly from the processors.

Prepared for major challenges

"JUQUEEN is targeted to tackle comprehensive and complex scientific questions, called Grand Challenges", explains Prof. Thomas Lippert, Director of the Juelich Supercomputing Center. The system can be used especially for compute intensive, highly scalable applications which can run in parallel on a very high number of compute cores.

"Projects from various scientific areas can profit from the new raised performance, eg. In the areas of neuroscience, computational biology or energy and climate research. It enables complicated calculations in quantum physics, which were not possible before", adds Prof. Lippert.

"JUQUEEN is a positive achievement for the IBM POWER architecture, not just for its speed and energy efficiency, but also for the important research it will support," said Melanie Fuchs, HPC Manager, IBM Germany. "With supercomputers of this caliber, our ability to affect strategic change in areas like life sciences, public safety, energy and transportation that make our world smarter is greater than ever."

Scientists out of Juelich have had early access to the IBM BlueGene/Q-Architecture within the Exascale Innovation Center (EIC), a joint project from IBM Research and Development and Forschungszentrum Juelich. This allowed them to adapt their applications in advance to a prototype system. JUQUEEN has already been used for comprehensive calculations in the areal of particle physics and phase changes in materials for storing data.

Furthermore, brain scientists in Juelich are using the new system to simulate activity in brain structures. JUQUEEN promises also new possibilities for the Human Brain Project with its objective to simulate the human brain.

Serving Science

JUQUEEN was equally financed by Federal and State funds.The new system will be accessible to researchers in Germany and the whole of Europe. Two thirds of the computing time will be given to researchers via two supercomputing cooperations: the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS), a cooperation of the three German national High Performance Compute Centers in Juelich, Garching und Stuttgart, and the European Research Infrastructure PRACE. The third part will be accessible to users of Forschungszentrum Juelich and the Juelich-Aachen Research Alliance (JARA).

JUQUEEN-Racks im Jülich Supercomputing CentreJUQUEEN - the new supercomputer.
Copyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich

More Information:

TOP500 list
Technical Informationen on JUQUEEN
Jülich Supercomputing Centre

Tobias Schlößer, Tel. 02461 61-4771 / 0151 17446445,