Sun to build supercomputer for University of Zurich

Today, the University of Zurich (UZH) announced they will be deploying a new supercomputer in late summer 2009, based on 576 Sun Blade servers powered by next-generation Intel® Xeon® processors (codenamed Nehalem). The supercomputer will be one of the most powerful computers ever to have been operated by a single university. If commissioned today, the new machine would be ranked approximately 50th on the Top500 list and would also be one of the largest high-performance computers in Switzerland. Today's announcement builds on other HPC deployments we announced at Supercomputing, which will also be based on the next-generation Intel Xeon processor.

The planned HPC cluster is unique due to its compact design, efficient QDR InfiniBand network, ingenious cooling system, fast and high-capacity storage systems and the fact that it uses the very latest generation of Intel CPUs. The cluster will also take advantage of the Lustre parallel file system.

The new supercomputer will be used to determine not only the behavior of individual molecules, but of entire molecular systems. The high-performance machine is anticipated in the fields of nanotechnology, systems biology, astrophysics, cosmology and physical chemistry; it will soon be possible, for example, to determine how planets, stars and galaxies emerge out of the so-called "primordial soup." The new supercomputer will also be the main technology used to interpret the findings of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).

In a single day, the 50-teraflop high-performance computer will be capable of performing processes that would take an individual PC 10 years. It will also facilitate other scientific calculations not possible using current computer equipment. The new supercomputer will offer performance levels 10 times higher than those of the three existing supercomputers.

If you've brushed up on your German recently, you can see the entire UZH press release here.  =)

For more information on Sun's HPC solutions, visit www.sun.com/hpc.

Comments:

What OS will it be running?

Posted by Richard Friedman on January 16, 2009 at 03:33 AM PST #

Wow!!!!! Really amazing news.. Helping scientists crack the mystery behind "primordial soup" and help them analyze LHC results.... Fantastic.. Wish I was one component of that Super computer.

Posted by Karthick on January 18, 2009 at 12:33 PM PST #

It'll be running SLES 10

Posted by Wolfgang Volkart on January 18, 2009 at 04:33 PM PST #

@Wolfgang Volkart: Hardly possible.

@Richard: You should read about such 'systems', and you will know the possiblities.

Posted by Shiki on January 19, 2009 at 03:29 AM PST #

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