Developing an exaflop-class supercomputer by 2020 is a necessity for some of the defense programs implemented by the CEA/DAM.
Atos the CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission)’s direction of defense applications (CEA/DAM) place Tera 1000 – a supercomputer they developed together for defense and nuclear deterrence uses – among the world’s 500 most powerful machines. Reaching the 14th position, Tera 1000 thus becomes the most powerful European general-purpose supercomputer, with a computing power of 25 petaflops and a very competitive power consumption of 4 Megawatts.
The result is achieved due to the hard work of two partners, who designed the strategy 18 years ago as as top contenders in the international competition towards exascale capacities – reaching a billion calculations per second.
Developing an exaflop-class supercomputer by 2020 is a necessity for some of the defense programs implemented by the CEA/DAM. To reach this capacity, technological breakthroughs are needed – most notably to maintain low levels of energy consumption, one of the key challenges in the high-performance computing market, but also to ensure smooth information flows and process the significant volumes of data produced by increasingly precise simulations of multi-physical, multi-dimensional phenomena.
What’s All in Tera 1000
Tera 1000 has a 25-petaflop computing capacity and best-in-class energy efficiency for a large range of applications – an achievement made possible through the use of technologies developed by Atos for its line of BullSequana X supercomputers. BullSequana uses an innovative cooling technology, using streams of lukewarm water circulating in close proximity to processors. A single BullSequana module can deliver almost three quarters of the computing power of the Tera 100, the supercomputer that was formerly in use at the CEA/DAM, with an energy efficiency improved by a factor of 25.
François Geleznikoff, the director of defense applications at the CEA, says: “Once again, the partnership between Atos and the CEA/DAM has allowed a major technological milestone in the power capacities of supercomputers. With the Tera 1000, we have very significantly increased the quality that digital simulations can attain for defense applications, but also for research and industry uses. This step opens the way to the exaflops in the coming decade.”