The new high-performance computer at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research ranks among the 400 fastest world-wide. This was announced today at the beginning of the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany. The machine is able to do 212 trillion calculations per second – so called Teraflops. This allows simulations of the complex interactions between atmosphere, oceans, land and ice-sheets to a much larger extent than was hitherto possible on site. The computer’s waste heat is used – environmentally-friendly – to heat the new PIK research building.
“The new computer is to us what a research vessel is to other institutes – it allows us to explore the seas of the unknown, only that our oceans consist of data and equations,” says PIK director John Schellnhuber.
“We’re calculating changes in our Earth system: from past ice-ages to the impacts of human-made climate change on weather extremes, crop yields, or sea levels.” The new high-performance computer offers new possibilities to do this since it allows 6 to 9 times more simulation runs – like experiments in a laboratory, but with data.
The European Union financed 3 of the 4.4 million euro that the computer cost. In a Europe-wide tender, the company IBM came up with the best quality. “We really appreciate that our funders are recognizing the particular research challenge posed by climate change – so we could invest to get an ever clearer picture of the risks for people all over the world,” says Schellnhuber.
Innovative cooling system: Waste heat is used to heat buildings
Because computers inevitably produce heat when working, the manufacturer developed a highly innovative cooling system which pumps liquids directly to the currently installed 5088 processor kernels. The waste heat is used to heat the new research building of PIK with more than 200 working places to be occupied in a few weeks, and some neighbouring facilities. No additional heat sources are needed.
“The new high-performance computer is intricately tailored to fit our needs to develop climate and economic models – from the computing power and data transfer speed to the software,” says Karsten Kramer, head of IT at PIK with more than 20 years of experience in high-performance computing. The new system perfectly complements but doesn’t substitute existing computing resources in Germany, he stresses. The computer as well as the data centre are designed to allow further appropriate upscaling without performance interruptions.
“To substitute the computing power of the newly installed device, each person on Earth would have to do almost 30,000 calculations per second – this illustrates that we need this cutting-edge technology,” says Kramer. “Conversely, without the ideas of our scientists even the fastest computer would be useless.”
Weblink to Top 500 list: http://www.top500.org/lists/2015/06/
PIK press office
Phone: +49 331 288 25 07
Jonas Viering | Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung
Further reports about: > Earth > Earth system > Klimafolgenforschung > PIK > Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung > computing power > computing resources > cooling system > crop yields > cutting-edge technology > data transfer > economic models > heat > high-performance computing > new computer > research building > sea levels > super-computer > waste heat
New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans
16.01.2017 | University of Southern California
Fraunhofer FIT announces CloudTeams collaborative software development platform – join it for free
10.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction