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MareNostrum 4 begins operation

MareNostrum provides 11.1 petaflops of processing power for scientific research

28/06/2017
The MareNostrum 4 supercomputer has begun operating and executing applications for scientific research. MareNostrum 4, hosted by the Barcelona Supercomputing Center–Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS), is entirely aimed at generating scientific knowledge and its computer architecture has been called ‘the most diverse and interesting in the world’ by international experts. The Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness has funded the purchase of the supercomputer, which, together with its installation, cost €34 million.

11.1 petaflops of processing power
MareNostrum provides 11.1 petaflops of processing power for scientific research. That is the capacity of the general-purpose cluster, the largest and most powerful part of the supercomputer, which will be increased thanks to the installation of three new, smaller-scale clusters, featuring emerging technologies, over the next few months. The capacity of 11.1 petaflops is 10 times greater than that of MareNostrum 3, which was installed between 2012 and 2013.

According to the TOP500 ranking published on 19 June 2017, the MareNostrum 4 supercomputer’s general-purpose cluster is the third most powerful in Europe and the thirteenth in the world. The TOP500 is based on how quickly supercomputers execute the high-performance linpack benchmark.

A tool of great value for science
Supercomputers are used for basic and applied research due to their ability to perform long calculations, execute large-scale simulations and analyse massive amounts of data. Today, they are used in almost all scientific disciplines, from astrophysics to biomedicine, and in engineering and industry.

During its first four months of operation, MareNostrum 4 has been used for research projects on climate change, gravitational waves, an AIDS vaccine, new radiation treatments to fight cancer and simulations related to the production of fusion energy.

Access via scientific committees
MareNostrum 4 is available to all scientists in Europe via a selection process managed by scientific committees. For the chance to use the supercomputer, researchers must submit a request to the Spanish Supercomputing Network (RES, according to its initials in Spanish), which provides access to 16% of the computing hours available on the machine, or to the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE), which manages access to 80% of its computing hours. The remaining 4% is reserved for use by BSC-CNS researchers. The MareNostrum 4 supercomputer has been designated as a Special Scientific/Technical Infrastructure Facility by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.


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