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GCS Completes Equipping its Third HPC Centre With Petascale Supercomputing Infrastructure

HPC System “SuperMUC” inaugurated at Leibniz Supercomputing Centre Garching

Berlin/Germany, July 20, 2012 – The Leibniz Supercomputing Centre in Garching near Munich (LRZ), one of GCS’s three national supercomputing centres, today inaugurated SuperMUC, Europe’s most powerful supercomputer to date. With SuperMUC, which offers a peak performance of about 3 Petaflops (3 quadrillion floating point operations per second), LRZ falls into line with the other two members of the German Gauss Centre for Supercomputing, HLRS Stuttgart and JSC Jülich, in being equipped with a supercomputing infrastructure in the petascale performance range. By adding SuperMUC to its HPC system platform, GCS now provides the largest and most powerful supercomputer infrastructure in Europe for research, scientific, and industrial tasks.

In a festive ceremony celebrating also the 50th anniversary of LRZ, Prof. Annette Schavan, Federal Minister of Education and Research, and State-Minister Wolfgang Heubisch together with Prof. Karl-Heinz Hoffmann, President of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and Prof. Arndt Bode, Director of LRZ, officially released LRZ’s new HPC system SuperMUC for its manifold use by researchers, scientists, and users of the industry. As Europe’s fastest HPC system, SuperMUC ranks 4th on the noted TOP500 list (released 18th June 2012), which enumerates the most powerful supercomputers in the world.

“Today is a great day for science in all Europe”, explained Minister Schavan, who was proud to see the last of the three member centres of the German Gauss Centre for Supercomputing being equipped with a supercomputer delivering petascale performance. “Just like the HPC systems in Stuttgart and Jülich, LRZ’s new supercomputer will be available not only for German scientists but for scientists from all Europe. With SuperMUC, we underscore our ambition to remain on the forefront of being an attractive and strong partner for supercomputing in all Europe.”

Prof. Heinz-Gerd Hegering, Chairman of GCS, added: “The commissioning of SuperMUC marks a milestone in GCS’s mission to adopt a leading role in European high performance computing. In a joint effort by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the three states hosting our national HPC centres, the Free State of Bavaria, the states of Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia, we set out to provide systems of petascale performance to the German science and research community. We delivered! GCS now offers the largest and most powerful supercomputer infrastructure in Europe and a vast range of industrial and research activities in various disciplines will benefit from it.” As former Director of LRZ, GCS Chairman Prof. Hegering was given the honor to deliver the ceremonial address at the day’s festive event in Garching. Being a member of the Munich/Garching science institution since 1968, i. e. an impressive time span of 44 years, no one else but Prof. Hegering was presumably better qualified to deliver a short yet intense and highly interesting review on LRZ’s 50 years of history.

LRZ’s new supercomputer SuperMUC, a System X iDataPlex from IBM consisting of 155,000 cores and offering 330 Terabyte of main memory, is not only fast but also extremely energy efficient. A revolutionary new form of hot-water cooling technology helps achieve a PUE* value of 1.1, a ratio currently unmatched by any x86-system of comparable performance. On top of these facts, LRZ’s flagship computer excels in yet one more subject: The system has been designed as general purpose HPC system, thereby allowing an exceptionally versatile deployment. “SuperMUC is extraordinary user friendly”, stresses Professor Dr. Arndt Bode, Director of LRZ. “We run more than 100 different applications on our system per year, thus an instruction set allowing easy adaption of user software was a core requirement on the system architecture.” SuperMUC is being used for a wide spectrum of science and research tasks, ranging from medical and engineering & energy applications to astrophysics.

* PUE is the ratio of total amount of power used by a computer data centre facility to the power delivered to computing equipment.

Being a supercomputer at the highest performance level, SuperMUC qualifies as a „Tier-0“ system in the European research infrastructure offered through the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE), which the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing and thus LRZ, as one of the three GCS centres, is a hosting member of. Through PRACE, these Tier-0 systems are made available for large-scale scientific projects to users in Europe and beyond. In the latest PRACE Regular Call for Proposals (April 2012), SuperMUC was already included and 200 million of SuperMUC’s core hours (out of the 1.134 million core hours for the entire Call) were allocated to top-level research projects in three disciplines: Astrophysics, Engineering & Energy, and Chemistry & Materials.

Both SuperMUC and the associated extension of the LRZ buildings, which include a new state-of-the-art visualization centre, were co-funded by BMBF (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) and the Free State of Bavaria. The operational costs are covered exclusively by the Free State of Bavaria. Accompanying projects are funded by the European Union, the BMBF, as well as via additional third-party funds.

For further information on SuperMUC, please refer to

About GCS:

The Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) consolidates the three national supercomputing centres HLRS (High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart), JSC (Jülich Supercomputing Centre), and LRZ (Leibniz Supercomputing Centre, Garching) into Germany’s Tier-0 Supercomputing institution. Concertedly, the three centres provide the largest and most powerful supercomputer infrastructure in Europe to serve a wide range of industrial and research activities in various disciplines. They also provide top-class training and education for the national as well as the European High Performance Computing (HPC) community. GCS is the German member of PRACE (Partnership for Advance Computing in Europe), an international non-profit association consisting of 24 member countries, whose representative organizations create a pan-European supercomputing infrastructure, providing access to computing and data management resources and services for largescale scientific and engineering applications at the highest performance level.

GCS has its headquarters in Berlin/Germany.


Regina Weigand, GCS Public Relations
+49 711 685-87261

This press release as pdf file:
 Press Release 08/2012: GCS Completes Equipping its Third HPC Centre With Petascale Supercomputing Infrastructure (PDF, 142 kB)