Premiere-partition-EXA1-@CEA-scaled. Image from Atos

Atos and CEA launch EXA1 supercomputer – the most powerful & energy-efficient HPC system in Europe based on General Purpose CPUs.

On November 17th, Atos and the CEA’s Military Applications Division (CEA/DAM) revealed the first partition of “EXA1,” a supercomputer built in collaboration based on Atos’ BullSequana XH2000 architecture, which is among the world’s top 500 machines.

“CEA-HF,” which is ranked 14th in the TOP500 rating, is Europe’s most powerful and energy-efficient supercomputer based on general-purpose CPUs. It features 12,960 AMD processors, which translates to 829,440 computer processor cores, making it the world’s largest HPC system based on general-purpose CPUs. It has a computing power of 23.2 petaflops and competitive power consumption of 4.96 MegaWatts.

EXA1 features Atos’ 100% highly efficient water-cooled patented Direct Liquid Cooling (DLC) solution, which uses streams of lukewarm water to cool the machine, providing the most advanced PUE~1 (Power Usage Effectiveness) on the market. This feature enables the CEA/DAM to effectively control its energy consumption and reduce costs, and at the same time benefitting from processors with the very highest power requirements.

CEA-HF is interconnected by the second generation of Atos’ BullSequana eXascale Interconnect (BXI v2). Thanks to the full hardware offload of the communications mechanism in the BXI V2, the processor’s usage is optimized, avoiding interferences. The offload boosts the communication performance of HPC applications, enabling CPUs to be fully dedicated to computational tasks while communications are independently managed by the BXI V2. As a result, CEA-HF delivers high communication performance considering bandwidth, latencies, or message rates.

EXA1 supercomputer. BXI V2 BullSequana eXascale Interconnect V2
BXI V2 BullSequana eXascale Interconnect V2

Vincenzo SALVETTI, Director of the CEA’s Military Applications Division, says: “Developing such a high-level supercomputer is essential for some of the defence programs that we implement at the CEA/DAM. To reach this capacity, technological breakthroughs are needed – such as maintaining low levels of energy consumption, while ensuring that the huge volumes of data produced by increasingly precise simulations can be effectively processed. I am proud that the long-term R&D partnership between Atos and the CEA/DAM allows us to achieve this new major milestone for our program, and leverage CEA/DAM’s innovation capabilities”.

Pierre BARNABÉ, Acting Co-CEO of Atos and Head of Atos’ Global Big Data & Security Division, adds: “We’re thrilled that our BullSequana supercomputer continues to boost Europe’s scientific excellence and industrial strength, and we are extremely pleased to support CEA in bringing their research and innovation one step further with EXA1.”

Since 2004, Atos and CEA/DAM have worked together as long-term partners. EXA1 is the fourth supercomputer constructed by the two firms together, and it represents the pinnacle of the CEA/DAM and Atos HPC teams’ competence.

About Atos

With 107,000 people and annual revenue of more than € 11 billion, Atos is a global pioneer in digital transformation. The Group provides customized end-to-end solutions for all industries in 71 countries, making it Europe’s number one in cybersecurity, cloud, and high-performance computing.

About CEA

The CEA is a major actor in four major fields of research, development, and innovation: energy transition, digital transition, future medicinal technology, and defense and security. The CEA actively participates in collaborative projects with a significant number of academic and industrial partners in France, Europe, and around the world, with a workforce of 20,000 employees based in nine sites equipped with very large-scale research facilities. It is the #1 French research institution in terms of the number of patents registered in France and Europe, according to the Clarivate 2019 rating.

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