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FERMI ready for launch in PRACE

FERMI is the new supercomputing system in CINECA, the Italian supercomputing centre. This new system, based on IBM BG/Q architecture, will replace the IBM SP6 supercomputer and will be installed this spring and becoming fully operational in August 2012.

As from the mandate of the Italian Ministry of Education University and Research, CINECA represents Italy in PRACE (the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe). CINECA becomes a Tier-0 site as described in the PRACE roadmap.

FERMI is composed of 10.240 PowerA2 sockets running at 1.6GHz, with 16 cores each, totaling 163.840 compute cores and a system peak performance of 2.1 PFlops. Each processor comes with 16Gbyte of RAM (1Gbyte per core).

The BG/Q system will be equipped with a high-performance scratch storage system with a capacity of 2Pbyte and a bandwidth in excess of 100 Gbyte/s.

FERMI will enable computational science of scale. FERMI will allow Italian and European teams of researchers to perform computationally intensive, large-scale research projects addressing fundamental problems in science and engineering that require massive processing power.

Access to FERMI will be on the basis of national and European calls for proposals. ISCRA (Italian Super Computing Resources Allocation) and PRACE will manage the access to the Tier-0 supercomputer by the way of international peer-review procedures ensuring world-class research is carried out that will be competitive worldwide.

"As Director of CINECA I am extremely proud that this impressively large Italian supercomputer will represent an effective reply to the growing demand from national and European academia, research institutions and industries for peta-scale computing capabilities. The installation of this new powerful Italian infrastructure will strengthen the position of the PRACE consortium and reinforce Europe’s competitiveness in the race to exascale“, said Marco Lanzarini, Director of CINECA.

“As Chairman of the PRACE Council I am delighted that with FERMI the 4th Tier-0 system within PRACE will be installed. In particular, I would like to express my special thanks to Italy for their confirmed contribution to the PRACE scientific society. The installation of FERMI shows that PRACE is strengthening its ties to guarantee European users access to leading-edge capability Tier-0 systems in Europe. Through PRACE, European users in science and industry will be able to contribute to our societal challenges such as sustainable energy technologies, mobility, climate change and health”, expressed Professor Achim Bachem, Chairman of PRACE Council and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Juelich.

Dr. Maria Ramalho, PRACE Managing Director commented: “This news is very important for European scientists in general and Italian scientists in particular. The name of Enrico Fermi, the Italian-born nuclear physicist, for the FERMI system will carry with it the promise that, in Europe, brilliant researchers from academia and industry have the HPC research infrastructure they need to excel in their own fields. PRACE is there to make this promise come true. FERMI is already available for regular call 4 awardees and also for subsequent PRACE calls for access”.

About PRACE: The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) is an international non-profit association with its seat in Brussels. The PRACE Research Infrastructure (RI) provides a persistent world-class High Performance Computing (HPC) service for scientists and researchers from academia and industry. The Implementation Phases of PRACE receives funding from the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreements n° RI-261557 and n° RI-283493.

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