The Atos’ platform BullSequana XH2000 was chosen for the construction of the new supercomputer in Bulgaria

14 December 2020

The configuration Atos’ BullSequana XH2000 of the high-tech company Atos was chosen for the construction of the EuroHPC petascale supercomputer in Bulgaria. The project for the high-performance computing machine, which will be one of the most efficient in Eastern Europe, is implemented by the “Petascale Supercomputer – Bulgaria” Consortium with leading partner Sofia Tech Park JSC. The machine will be located on the territory of the first Bulgarian science & technology park.

The procurement contract was signed by the “Petascale Supercomputer – Bulgaria” Consortium, the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking – EuroHPC JU and the company vendor, that is global leader in digital transformation and HPC production. The company Atos has been selected following a call for tender by EuroHPC JU launched in March 2020.

This new HPC system, located in Bulgaria, will be a petascale supercomputer, capable of executing more than 4,4 Petaflops or 4,4 million billion calculations per second. The machine’s processing power is unique for Bulgaria and Southeastern Europe. As part of the EuroHPC network, the supercomputer will allow the country to have a peak performance of 6 Petaflops of computing power, which means that it will be possible to process a huge amount of data in real time, as well as to attain rapidly the results of its processing. The supercomputer will be one of the 5 petascale supercomputers designed to upgrade Europe’s computing power. The candidacy of the Bulgarian consortium was approved according to the procedure of EuroHPC JU, through which 8 European locations were selected, on which territory to be built supercomputers.

“In just a few months, a new EuroHPC supercomputer will increase the computing power available in Bulgaria and in Europe as a whole. Over the last months, supercomputers have been critical in developing vaccines against COVID-19. This new top-of-the-range system is the sixth EuroHPC supercomputer to be contracted and will further support European researchers, industry and public users to develop optimized solutions to current complex challenges in sectors like health, energy, agriculture or material design”, stated Anders Dam Jensen, the Executive Director of the EuroHPC JU.

Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, added: “I am very happy to see the efforts begun last year come to fruition, with the acquisition of this new supercomputing system in my native Bulgaria. This new supercomputer will aid European research in driving innovation and fostering better science by providing access to leading edge HPC infrastructures and services – regardless where they are in Europe.”

The Bulgarian supercomputer’s objective is to support research and innovation activities, to stimulate the industry based on the use of technology for simulation, molding and optimization. The processing power of the machine can be used in many applied fields for the needs of wide range of public and private consumers, including small and medium enterprises at Bulgarian, regional and European level. The system will be optimized to work in different science fields, including bioinformatics, pharmacy, molecular dynamics and mechanics, quantum chemistry and biochemistry, artificial intelligence, personalized medicine, bio-engineering, weather forecasting, fight against climate change, etc.

Peter Statev, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Sofia Tech Park JSC and the legal representative of PetaSC-Bulgaria, explained: “The challenge that the “Petascale supercomputer – Bulgaria” Consortium faces is to strengthen and develop the partnership between the industry, the leading universities and the Bulgarian Academy of Science. An additional task is the training of specialists skilled in the technology application into the problems worked on by the industry in the next 5 to 10 years. Last but not least, is the effective work and the knowledge and technology transfer with the others centers, part of the European HPC network.”

The new supercomputer is co-funded by the Republic of Bulgaria and the EuroHPC JU with a joint investment of EUR 11,5 million. This new supercomputing system is expected to be operational in May 2021.

The computing power of this new computing system will be complemented by four additional EuroHPC petascale supercomputers to be built in the following supercomputing centers:

  • LuxProvide, Luxembourg
  • IZUM, Slovenia
  • IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Center, Czech Republic
  • Minho Advanced Computing Centre (MACC), Portugal,

and three EuroHPC pre-exascale supercomputers located at the following supercomputing centers:

  • CSC – IT Center for Science, Finland
  • CINECA, Italy
  • Barcelona Supercomputing Centre, Spain

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