Wednesday, 3rd March 2021

Czech Hydrometeorological Institute puts NEC SX-Aurora TSUBASA supercomputer into operation

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI) put an NEC SX-Aurora TSUBASA supercomputer into service. The newly deployed HPC solution is used for high-resolution regional climate modelling.

The SX-Aurora TSUBASA supercomputer was delivered by NEC Deutschland GmbH in September 2020 and operational readiness was declared in December 2020. At the heart of the solution are 48 vector hosts containing 384 vector engine cards of type VE 20B in a directly liquid-cooled (DLC) environment, together with a fully non-blocking high-speed interconnect based on Mellanox HDR InfiniBand network technology, and a total of 18 Terabytes of HBM2 high-speed memory, and 24 Terabytes of DDR4 main memory. In addition, an HPC parallel storage solution on the basis of the NEC LxFS-z Storage Appliance with a usable capacity of more than 2 Petabyte was deployed.


NEC has realized a highly efficient DLC concept with cold water by combining leading-edge DLC and side cooler technology to avoid any leakage of waste heat into the computer room, which allows the complete system and the environment to operate without any additional air-conditioning in place. In total, the complete solution even shows a much better power efficiency than originally defined by the tender requirements.

The new system will be used to simulate future climate, and how its changes will manifest themselves. For example, it will help to predict the future frequency and intensity of draught periods, and the change of extremity of weather phenomena like flash floods and strong winds. The ultimate goal is therefore to help prepare for adaptation measures, mitigating the impacts of the changing climate. In addition, it acts as a development system for the adaptation and optimization of certain meteorological codes and climate applications that benefit greatly from the vectorization on SX-Aurora TSUBASA.

"We are very happy to bring the new NEC SX-Aurora TSUBASA into operation. For us, NEC's vector technology that SX-Aurora TSUBASA provides represent a highly attractive alternative to competing HPC technologies, especially since we do not need to rewrite the majority of our productive codes. Another great advantage is the excellent ratio between the applicative performance gain factor and power consumption," said Dr. Radmila Brozkova, Head of the CHMI Numerical Weather Prediction department.

"It is an honor for us that CHMI has selected NEC for the delivery of our latest HPC solution, which clearly guides the way into the future of climate modelling and weather forecasting. CHMI is a very important customer for us, and we are happy to provide our strongest support not only for smooth operations, but also by performance that optimizes the climate applications in use," said Yuichi Kojima, Managing Director of NEC Deutschland GmbH and Vice President HPC

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