Launch of the most powerful supercomputer in Europe

A former paper mill in Finland is now home to LUMI, Europe’s most powerful supercomputer, the location of which helps ensure it is also one of Europe’s most environmentally friendly high-performance computing (HPC) units. this guy.

LUMI is owned and created by the EU-backed European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) initiative, and the €202 million supercomputer was officially inaugurated on Monday, June 13 at an event in Kajaani , in Finland.

Half of the funding for the project comes from the EU, while the rest comes from contributions received from the consortium of member countries of the initiative, which includes Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, l Iceland, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.

Its computing resources will be made available to researchers across Europe to accelerate scientific breakthroughs in areas such as climate change, medicine, artificial intelligence and quantum computing, and up to 20% of its computing capacity will be reserved for small and medium-sized enterprises. businesses (SMEs) and industry, confirmed the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking.

“The societal issues for which we use supercomputers exist on a global scale. The scale of these challenges, and the work needed to address them and turn them into opportunities for innovation, requires great collaboration between many branches of academia and countless research teams,” said Anders Dam Jensen, Director Executive of EuroHPC JU.

“So it only makes sense that one of the largest and most important research infrastructures is based on extensive collaboration. In this, the EuroHPC LUMI Consortium collaboration is a pioneering effort to strengthen European competitiveness and digital sovereignty while promoting global research collaboration.

LUMI has a reported peak performance of over 550 petaflops per second, which its makers say makes it the fastest supercomputer in Europe and the third fastest in the world and is – under the hood – an HPE exascale design. Cray.

It has already secured a third place in the semi-annual Green500 list of energy-efficient supercomputers, due to the fact that it is powered by renewable energy and the waste heat generated by its operations is on track to cover 20% of district heating. annual. Kajanni’s needs.

The supercomputer is housed in a data center run by CSC – IT Center for Science, which is located on the site of a former paper mill in Kajanni, which its operators claim has significantly reduced its carbon footprint.

“A significant part of the ICT sector’s carbon footprint comes from the construction phase of the infrastructure. LUMI’s carbon footprint has been significantly reduced by placing the machine in the premises of a former paper mill…allowing it to use existing municipal engineering,” its creators said in a statement.

“The waste heat produced by LUMI will be used in Kajanni’s district heating network, which means its overall carbon footprint is negative.”

Mary I. Bruner