Sunday, 5th July 2020

Ghent University engages Atos to build third Tier1 VSC supercomputer

Atos has signed a 6-year contract for a value of over 10 Million Euro with Ghent University (UGent) to deliver the next Tier1 supercomputer for the Flemish Supercomputer Center VSC.

This supercomputer will help researchers from academic research institutions, government and industry to speed up time-consuming calculations and solve complex computational problems: from modeling weather and climate change to supporting the development of renewable energy and accelerating the search for new medicine. Most significantly, supercomputers have recently been instrumental in research combatting COVID-19, including in Flanders. Antoine Kerrinckx, CEO at Atos in Belux, comments: "Technology is becoming increasingly important in our society. We think it's important that researchers have the right tools and infrastructure at their disposal. We are delighted to contribute to the progress of science and technology with the delivery of our Atos supercomputer."

Atos will equip the new Tier1 supercomputer with BullSequana XH2000 technology and its BullSequana X Supercomputer Suiteas the software stack. This advanced software environment for High Performance Computing and AI will enable end-users to develop and run the vital software codes that are used throughout the diverse research and development fields within the VSC, such as materials design, engineering, weather/climate modeling and bioinformatics.

This will be the third Tier1 supercomputer that the VSC installs in Flanders. The first one ‘muk’ was installed at Ghent University in 2012, succeeded by ‘BrENIAC’ at KU Leuven in 2016. Now, in 2020, a new Tier1 supercomputer will again be installed at the Ghent University infrastructure hub of the Flemish Supercomputer Center VSC. The VSC is a partnership between the five Flemish universities and is managed by the Research Fund – Flanders (FWO). VSC encourages the use of scientific and technical computing in the Flemish academic and industrial landscape, offering dedicated infrastructure, training and services. Funding is provided by the Flemish government, department of Economy, Science and Innovation.

Hilde Crevits, Flemish Minister for Economy, Science and Innovation says: “One of the things that the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly exemplified is that state-of-the-art infrastructure, including supercomputers, are crucial to enable strong research and development in Flanders. I am proud that our continuous infrastructure investments help advance Flemish pioneering capabilities in R&D.” The new supercomputer is scheduled for delivery at Ghent University in Q4 2020. A further expansion of this system is planned for 2022.
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