Eurotech: CEA to test new Aurora Tigon water-cooled HPC system

Amaro (Italy) – November 18, 2013 - Eurotech, a leading provider of embedded and supercomputing technologies, today announced it has reached an agreement to provide CEA, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, a small module of the new Aurora Tigon hot water-cooled high performance computing (HPC) family. The unit will be hosted in the CEA Compute Complex in Bruyères-le-Châtel and will serve as an R&D platform in order to assess and develop software addressing the challenge of energy efficiency. 

The Aurora module provided to CEA will be equipped with the new NVIDIA® Tesla® K40 GPU accelerators based on the NVIDIA Kepler™ architecture and, with delivery expected before the end of 2013, it will be the first European production installation using the new NVIDIA accelerators. 

The CEA scientific computing complex is one of the most high-powered computing centres in Europe with a total computing performance greater than 3.5 petaflops. CEA recognizes energy efficiency as a major challenge for future HPC platforms. “The improvement of performance per watt on real applications will dramatically impact both hardware and software components involved in the design of actual production HPC systems,” said Pierre Leca, head of Information and Simulation Sciences Division at CEA/DAM-Ile de France. “In that perspective, the Aurora Tigon technology is very promising and will help CEA to develop portable software environments for its future computing systems.” 

The CEA Aurora system will include new Intel® Xeon™ E5-2687v2 CPUs processors (formerly code named “Ivy Bridge”) and NVIDIA Tesla K40 GPU accelerators. The system will feature the innovative Aurora Hot Direct Water Cooling design that uses warm water to directly cool the processors, memory, switches and power supplies allowing for a more efficient removal of system heat. The Aurora cooling is built over several years of water cooling experience (Eurotech was the first company worldwide to implement a hot water-cooled supercomputer in a production environment) and for CEA it will be delivered in a self-contained rack mountable infrastructure to allow quick plug-in into CEA’s existing cooling infrastructure. 

“We are honoured that an important institution like CEA chose to test Eurotech’s hot water-cooled HPC systems,” said Giampietro Tecchiolli, Eurotech CTO. “We are excited to start a collaboration which we hope will be longstanding. I think we start with the right foot delivering a proven technology, which at the moment is the greenest in the world, enabling substantial savings in energy and space occupancy.” 
The architecture of the Eurotech supercomputer for CEA is the same that is currently topping the Green 500 at 1st and 2nd position, enhanced by the utilization of the new generation of Intel Xeon processors and the new NVIDIA Tesla K40 GPU accelerators, components that will guarantee even better efficiency pushing the CEA Aurora system above the current top Green500 result of 3200 MFlops/watt. 

On the top of the energy-efficient HPC system, the Aurora water cooling technology allows substantial additional efficiency to be reached at the data center level, reducing or eliminating the chillers normally used for air conditioning generation, a fact that has an immediate positive impact in reducing energy bills. 
Also, water cooling and electronics design allows for very high packing densities to be reached with the Aurora Tigon reaching peak performances of above 400 TFlop/s per rack. 

The Eurotech Aurora Tigon HPCs are modular, scalable solutions that can grow from teraflop/s to petaflop/s just adding new modules and plugging them into the liquid cooling infrastructure. Entirely hot liquid cooled, the Tigons are able to provide best-in-class packaging density, energy efficiency and return of investment, starting from standard industry components that guarantee compatibility with most of the open source and commercial applications. 

Announced today, the NVIDIA Tesla K40 GPU accelerator is the first and highest-performance accelerator optimized for big data analytics and large-scale scientific workloads. It delivers double the memory and up to 40 percent higher performance than its predecessor, and 10 times higher performance than today’s fastest CPU. It features intelligent NVIDIA GPU Boost technology, which converts power headroom into a user-controlled performance boost, enabling users to unlock the untapped performance of a broad range of applications. It is powered by NVIDIA CUDA®, the world's most pervasive parallel computing platform and programming model. 

About CEA 
The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) leads research, development and innovation in four main areas: low-carbon energy sources, global defence and security, information technologies and healthcare technologies. CEA's leadership position in the world of research is built on a cross-disciplinary culture of engineers and researchers, ideal for creating synergy between fundamental research and technology innovation. With its 15,600 researchers and collaborators, it has internationally recognized expertise in its areas of excellence and has developed many collaborations with national and international, academic and industrial partners. 
CEA is a major player in High Performance Computing all along its value chain and is active in: 
- The development and usage of high-end numerical simulation applications in all its areas of research and development 
- The design, commissioning and operations of multi-petaflops supercomputing facilities at Bruyères-le-Châtel near Paris, for defence, industry and research – for the benefit of the broader French and European scientific communities 
- R&D and co-design in the area of HPC hardware and software technologies 

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