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Universidad Politécnica de Madrid installs the most powerful supercomputer in Spain

With five times the computing power of the previous supercomputer, University to significantly advance scientific research

Noticia. Enviado por prensa válido desde 22/06/2011 hasta 25/05/2012 (caducado)

22 June 2011. The Universidad Politécnica de Madrid now houses the most powerful supercomputer in Spain, according to the latest Top500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers. The system will be used to expand research in a variety of scientific areas, from basic sciences to advanced industrial design.

The supercomputer, called Magerit, is based on the IBM POWER7 architecture and is capable of theoretical peak performance of 103.4 Teraflops, or trillions of floating point calculations per second, and a sustained performance of 72.03 Teraflops, making it the most powerful supercomputer in Spain.

With Magerit, UPM substantially increases its computing power in order to respond to growing demand by the scientific community while also reducing power consumption.

Juan Antonio Zufiria, Country General Manager of IBM Spain, Portugal, Greece and Israel, says, “the major developments in the field of science are linked to modeling and simulation, areas that require considerable computing power. Therefore, the scientific progress of a country is closely related to its ability to invest in supercomputing. IBM is proud to contribute to the scientific and social progress of Spain with our technology.”

This agreement is a collaboration between enterprises and the University to contribute to the research and development of different scientific areas. In this sense, Javier Uceda, Chancelor of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, says “supercomputing is a strategic area for technical and scientific development. It is crucial for the advancement of knowledge and plays a role comparable to what was once the microscope or the telescope. It expands the frontiers of knowledge and becomes a key tool for improving the industrial competitiveness of Spain. At UPM, through the Center for Supercomputing and Visualization of Madrid (CeSViMa), we're betting on this technology to enhance the scientific and technological level of our university.”

The Magerit supercomputer has been installed at CeSViMa, attached to the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and located at the Campus Montegancedo, recently awarded the Campus of International Excellence recognition by the Spanish Government. The new supercomputer will allow the Centre to:

  • Expand support for research and development in Spain through its participation in the Spanish Supercomputing Research Network
  • Increase the participation in research projects of CeSViMa and UPM staff
  • Encourage the production of knowledge, attracting and developing talent, increasing the range of studies available to UPM students
  • Reduce overall power consumption while operating with less space.

Magerit is a cluster system of 245 IBM BladeCenter PS702 nodes with 2 IBM POWER7 processors, 8 cores each, and 7,84 TBytes RAM memory for a total of 3920 cores. The nodes are connected by a a high speed, quadruple rate Infiniband network together with other two networks for filesystem  and management purposes.

Leading scientific progress

CeSViMa was established in 2004 to support compute-intensive research projects linked to the University. CeSViMa provides tools for high performance computing and advanced interactive visualization, supporting national and international research projects within four basic areas: Astronomy, Space and Earth Sciences; Biomedicine and Health Sciences; Chemistry and Materials; and Physics and Engineering. CesVima makes a percentage of the computing power of its infrastructure available to the Spanish scientific community.In fact, any Spanish researcher can ask for use of CeSViMa’s computing power and their request will be reviewed and evaluated by the Access Committee of the Spanish Supercomputing Network (Red Española de Supercomputación, RES)

Magerit, named after the ancient name of Madrid, is the main computer at CeSViMa. The initial system was upgraded in 2007 through an agreement with the Barcelona Supercomputer Center – National Supercomputing Center. In 2008 a further upgrade was done to cope with the increasing demand for computing power. The Campus of International Excellence award in 2010 has allowed this last upgrade, as an investment in a strategic technology in a Campus dedicated to information and communication technologies, biotechnology and environment.

Magerit makes a 20% of its time available to the Spanish Supercomputing Network, a 50% increase of the UPM contribution in real terms over the previous machine. This means a big boost of the computing capability available to Spanish researchers through the RES.

Magerit today is a very powerful supercomputer used in all kind of projects, from basic science to financial analysis. New projects in life sciences, genomics, quantum computing and cryptography or brain simulation are joining the traditional fields of fluid dynamics, climate prediction or advanced design. Magerit will be also available for enterprise usage through partnership agreements to promote advanced computing technologies.


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