26-ton supercomputer on trial by July

The installation of the Deucalion supercomputer, in Guimarães, which is expected to be operational in early 2022, is still in a test phase until July this year, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education explained today, justifying the delay with “impossible ».

As reported by O MINHO, the supercomputer, with a mass of 26 tons, one of the four operational centers of advanced computing in Portugal coordinated by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), will be installed “in a building of the University of Minho, Campus Azurém , in Guimarães”, and will have the capacity to perform 10 million trillion calculations per second.

“The testing phase of this equipment by the supplier will be completed by the end of July 2023 and then it will be available to the national scientific community. The delay in the installation of Deucalion, in view of the initial forecasts, was due to some inconsistencies that arose during this initial phase of the project”, justifies the guardianship.

Initially, Deucalion, an investment of 20 million euros and which should operate mainly using renewable energy sources, was to be installed at the Minho Advanced Computing Center (MACC), in Guimarães.

“The ‘data center’ that was originally planned to house the computer was not available in time for the project, which led to the need to designate a new building to house Deucalion and carry out the necessary work to adapt it, which they required a public tender for adjudication, so these were the factors that contributed the most to the delay,” explains the ministry led by Elvira Fortunato.

In addition, the ministry reports, “there have been delays in the supply of equipment, as a result of the disruptions in the supply chains that are currently being verified”, adding that “this whole process was monitored and developed in close cooperation with the responsible European consortium EuroHPC [European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking]”.

“The investment in the Deucalion facility is 20 million, in which 35% of the funding comes from the European Union and the remaining 65% from the FCT budget. [Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia]and the last installment of the investment will be transferred only after the commissioning of the equipment,” reads the reply sent to Lusa.

In a statement released in February 2021, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education said that the contract for the acquisition of the new “petascale” EuroHPC supercomputer was signed between the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU), FCT and Fujitsu. , the technology supplier.

This HPC system, called Deucalion, is a supercomputer capable of performing “10 million trillion calculations per second.”

“The machine will use ARM technology, which is the Fujitsu A64FX CPU used by Fugaku, the fastest supercomputer in the world today,” the note states, emphasizing that “Deucalion will enable the development of a unique and innovative framework for the implementation of the European and global principles of green computing”.

A source from the ministry told Lusa that the first supercomputer went live in Portugal in 2019 and is called BOB.

26-ton supercomputer installed in Guimaraes

Then-Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education Manuel Heitor, as quoted in the statement, said it was “the achievement of an important objective during the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union”.

Manuel Heitor said it was “a step forward for the participation of all regions in the wide European supercomputing network”, allowing “digital infrastructures to push new frontiers of knowledge in various industries and towards a better and greener future”.

The then president of the FCT, Helena Pereira, said on her part that “this new supercomputer will integrate applications in various fields such as artificial intelligence, personalized medicine, drug and materials creation, industrial engineering, earth observation and combating climate change, cities, territories and mobility”.

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