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International research into controlled nuclear fusion (ITER project), gets more compute resources with expansion of the Helios supercomputer

Designed and operated by Bull, the Helios supercomputer installed in Rokkasho, Japan, is boosted by an additional 360 Intel® Xeon PhiTM coprocessors to increase its power to almost 2 Petaflops1.
Intel® Xeon PhiTM coprocessors - which foreshadow technologies that will ultimately lead to Exa-scale computing - will advance research into nuclear fusion aimed at developing a sustainable source of energy with a low-carbon footprint.

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Paris, March  12, 2014 -

The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (the CEA) - working on behalf of F4E2 to implement and run the Data Center for nuclear fusion at Rokkasho in Japan - is expanding the power of the Helios supercomputer by equipping it with additional bullxTM nodes featuring Intel® Xeon PhiTM coprocessors.

Helios, which is designed and operated by Bull, supports research work aimed at controlling nuclear fusion, so as to refine a sustainable energy source that produces no carbon dioxide emissions or other greenhouse gasses. The system provides modeling and simulation capacity which is open to all European and Japanese researchers under the 'Broader Approach', a research program that complements the international cooperative ITER program.

The new Intel® Xeon PHITM coprocessors that will be incorporated into Helios will enable researchers to take advantage of exceptional computing performance. Their massively parallel architecture delivering leading performance per watt, foreshadows technologies that will ultimately lead to Exa-scale computing3.

"We are delighted to be helping the CEA and the community working on Nuclear Fusion to develop the knowhow and computing resources that will allow them to significantly expand the potential for research associated with the ITER program," said Pascal Barbolosi, Vice-President, Extreme Computing at Bull.

"Computer simulation plays an essential role in the development of research into Nuclear Fusion - both in terms of understanding the extremely complex physical phenomena involved and in scoping future tokamaks. The Nuclear Fusion community already has very advanced parallel simulation software. Adapting these for processors with an extremely high levels of parallelization is essential to guarantee their ability to fully utilize future generations of supercomputers, and the integration of Intel® Xeon Phi coprocessors into Helios is an important move in this direction," explained Gabriele Fioni, Director of Materials Sciences at the CEA.

The architecture of the Helios supercomputer initially featured 4,410 bullx B510 compute nodes, with 8,820 Intel® Xeon® E5 processors producing a power of 1.5 Petaflops. The 180 new bullx B515 compute nodes will each include two Intel® Xeon PhiTM coprocessors delivering an additional 400 Teraflops, taking the total power of the Helios system to almost 2 Petaflops.

"Intel is convinced that Exascale computing will represent a major technological advance for the scientific community working on Nuclear Fusion projects. The Intel Xeon Phi range of coprocessors has been designed with this in mind, and we are very pleased that the Helios supercomputer will be benefiting from this," explained Stéphane Negre, CEO of Intel France and Regional Manager of Intel Western Europe.

The Center of Expertise for Parallel Programming - created by Bull in close cooperation with Intel and based at Bull's offices in Grenoble, France - is closely involved in this project, providing training, porting and optimization of computing codes dedicated to this vital area of energy research.

1 2 million billion operations a second. If everyone in the world completed one operation a second, it would take them a day and a half to achieve what Helios can do in a single second.

2 F4E, Fusion For Energy, is the 'domestic' agency coordinating Europe's contribution to the construction of ITER and the Broader Approach. http://www.fusionforenergy.europa.eu

3 1 billion billion operations a second, or 500 times the power of Helios. The first Exa-scale supercomputers are set to appear from around 2020.

About the CEA

The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is a public technological research organization working in four main areas: low-carbon energies, information technologies and health technologies, very large-scale research facilities (TGIRs), and global defense and security.

Building on excellence in fundamental research and on recognized expertise, the CEA takes part in organizing cooperation projects with a wide range of academic and industrial partners. With its 16,000 researchers and employees, it is a major player in European research and is also expanding its international presence.

For more information, visit www.cea.fr

Press contact: François Legrand francois.legrand@cea.fr Tel: +33 (0)1 64 50 27 53

About Bull, an Atos company

 

Bull is the trusted partner for enterprise data. The Group, which is firmly established in the Cloud and in Big Data, integrates and manages high-performance systems and end-to-end security solutions. Bull's offerings enable its customers to process all the data at their disposal, creating new types of demand. Bull converts data into value for organisations in a completely secure manner.

Bull currently employs around 9,200 people across more than 50 countries, with over 700 staff totally focused on R&D. In 2013, Bull recorded revenues of €1.3 billion.

For more information:
http://www.bull.com  /  http://www.facebook.com/BullGroup  /  http://twitter.com/bull_com

 

About Atos

Atos SE (Societas Europaea) is a leader in digital services with 2013 pro forma annual revenue of €10 billion and 86,000 employees in 66 countries. Serving a global client base, the Group provides Consulting & Systems Integration services, Managed Services & BPO, Cloud operations, Big Data & Security solutions, as well as transactional services through Worldline, the European leader in the payments and transactional services industry. With its deep technology expertise and industry knowledge, the Group works with clients across different business sectors: Defence, Health, Manufacturing, Media & Utilities, Public Sector, Retail, Telecommunications and Transportation.

Atos is focused on business technology that powers progress and helps organizations to create their firm of the future. The Group is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic & Paralympic Games and is listed on the Euronext Paris market. Atos operates under the brands Atos, Atos Consulting, Atos Worldgrid, Bull, Canopy, and Worldline.

For more information, visit: atos.net



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Bull
Aurélie Negro
5 Bd Gallieni - 92445 Issy Les moulineaux Cedex - France
Phone: +33 1 58 04 05 02
E-mail: aurelie.negro@bull.net


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Aurélie Negro
+33 1 58 04 05 02
aurelie.negro@bull.net