CESGA’s new FINISTERRAE III supercomputer will multiply the computing capacity by 12

  •     CESGA’s new FinisTerrae III multiplies by 12 the calculation capacity of the previous supercomputer, it will have a total memory of 118 TB and a storage capacity of 25 PB.
  •     It incorporates the first 30-qbit quantum computing simulator installed in Spain.
  •     The system will make it possible to shorten the times to obtain results, benefiting the multiple research groups it serves.

The Galician Supercomputing Centre – CESGA is in the process of installing a new supercomputer to continue being a benchmark among Spanish and European Computing Centres.

The new FINISTERRAE III supercomputer, awarded in February to the company Atos, will multiply the computing capacity of the previous CESGA supercomputer by twelve, providing a calculation power of 4 PetaFLOPS, that is, it can solve 4 thousand billion (10 to 15) of mathematical operations per second. It will incorporate 708 next-generation Intel Ice Lake processors, the latest A100 model NVIDIA GPUS, a 5PB disk storage system and a 20PB Tape Library.

FinisTerrae III will also incorporate the first quantum computing simulator installed in Spain, an Atos QLM, which will position CESGA as a benchmark in the demanding world of quantum computing.

After its installation, it will enter a testing period and then its use will be open to the Galician scientific community and to the research groups of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) throughout the State.

A unique technical scientific facility

The machine, like its predecessors, will join the set of infrastructures that make up the Unique Technical Scientific Facility (ICTS) of the Spanish Supercomputing Network (RES). Up to 20% of its computing capacity will be made available to any research group from the European Union or associated countries, through the competitive calls that the RES publishes every four months.

The acquisition of this equipment represents an investment of seven million euros that has been possible thanks to finalist funding for research provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), through the Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICIN), and with the co-financing provided by the institutions represented on the CESGA Foundation Board of Trustees: The Xunta de Galicia and the CSIC.

A heterogeneous architecture for a heterogeneous user community

FinisTerrae III is made up of 354 nodes that in total include 708 latest generation Intel Xeon Ice Lake 8352Y processors with 32 cores at 2.2GHz, bringing FinisTerrae III to 22,656 processing cores. 80 of these nodes, incorporate a total of 144 GPU math accelerators: Nvidia A100 and Nvidia T4 GPU, giving it a total computing power of 4 PetaFLOPS.

Together, the supercomputer nodes have an aggregate memory of 118 TB and a disk storage capacity of 5 PB. For local storage, nodes include NVMe SSD solid state drives, with an aggregate capacity of 355TB and blazing-fast data input / output speed.

The nodes are connected by a high capacity, very low latency Infiniband HDR100 interconnect network.

The new system also has a 20 PB capacity permanent data storage subsystem.

FinisTerrae III incorporates the first quantum computing simulator installed in Spain, a 30-qbit ATOS QLM.

Uses of the new supercomputer

The large capacity and heterogeneity of the nodes represent the very varied demand that CESGA responds to. This fact is clearly illustrated by the more than 1,900 scientific libraries, code development and management tools, and scientific software applications installed on the servers currently in operation. This software suite includes tools for biology, genomics, computational science, data engineering, mathematics, statistics, molecular dynamics, molecular electronic structure modelling, ab initio quantum chemistry, materials modelling, multiphysics, computational fluid dynamics and much more. This allows CESGA to give an adequate response to a large variety of scientific-technical demands.

Last year, 2020, CESGA served 692 researchers and innovators mainly from the three Galician universities and the Spanish National Research Council, CSIC, together with research personnel from other universities, technology and research centres, administrations, and industry.

The user community comes from a wide variety of disciplines, including Life Sciences, Earth Sciences, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Sciences, etc.

In 2020, these users produced 245 scientific publications. The use of the infrastructures contributed to 144 R & D & i projects financed through competitive calls that together mobilized more than 143 million euros, of which user groups attracted more than 34 million euros. This funding contributed to the financing of 189 highly skilled jobs.

CESGA promotes the integration of the use of these technologies by agents of the productive sectors, technology centres, digital innovation hubs and especially by SMEs.

This investment has been financed by means of an agreement between the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Fundation CESGA for the execution of the project “Renovation of Supercomputing Infrastructures and Permanent Storage at CESGA (FinisTerrae III)” co-financed by ERDF of the Pluriregional Operational Program of Spain 2014-2020.

The acquisition of this equipment is financed 80% with the European Regional Development Fund, through the Spanish Multi-regional ERDF Operational Program 2014-2020 (POPE), in Priority Axis 01 (Promote research, technological development and innovation), in Investment Priority 1 (Improvement of R&I infrastructures and capacities to promote excellence in R&I, and promotion of competence centres, particularly those of European interest) and in Objective Specific OE010102 (Strengthening of R&D institutions and creation, consolidation and improvement of scientific and technological infrastructures).