The Flemish Supercomputer Center has given its new supercomputer a name. The machine, which can deliver 3.3 petaflops of peak performance, is named after the ‘human computer’ Nicole-Reine Lepaute, born in 1723, nicknamed Hortense.
Hortense performed heavy astronomical calculations and was able to accurately predict the arrival of Halley’s Comet. According to Ghent Universitywhere the supercomputer will be placed, it is now seen as one of her greatest achievements, but the story says a lot about the undervaluation of women in science. Her contribution to calculating the comet’s movements was ‘forgotten’ in the first publication.
The supercomputer, which will be operational by the end of this year, was announced in the summer. It is a so-called tier1 system built by Atos, based on the BullSequana XH2000 platform. It uses AMD EPYC 7H12-processors met 64 cores.
Hortense will receive a total of more than 44,000 CPU cores, more than 32 terabytes of RAM, 88 Nvidia Ampere GPUs with 40GB hbm2 each, more than 100TB of flash storage and 4PB ‘long-term storage’. The peak performance would amount to 3.3 petaflops, which means that the university expects to be able to achieve a place in the top 500 list of supercomputers. The system will be upgraded again in 2022.
The HPC-UGent team will maintain and manage the supercomputer. The computing power is available for all Flemish universities. Researchers can via the Flemish Supercomputer Center submit requests to use Hortense.
|Hortense supercomputer (five racks)||Content|
|98x BullSequana X2410-blades (294 nodes)||AMD EPYC 7H12-cpu’s, 256GB ddr4-3200 per node|
|14x BullSequana X2410-blades (42 nodes)||AMD EPYC 7H12-cpu’s, 512GB ddr4-3200 per node|
|20x BullSequana X2415-blades met Nvidia RedStone||AMD EPYC 7H12-cpu’s, 4x Nvidia A100-40 per blade|
|DDN EXAScaler ES7990X en SFA200NVX||SAS and NVMe storage|