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MARCONI, the new Tier-0 system


MARCONI is the new Tier-0 system, co-designed by CINECA and based on the Lenovo NeXtScale platform, that replaced the former IBM BG/Q system (FERMI).

MARCONI, based on the next-generation of the Intel® Xeon Phi™ product family alongside with Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v4 product family, offers the scientific community a technologically advanced and energy-efficient high performance computing system. 


The new system will gradually be completed in about 12 months, between April 2016 and July 2017, according to a plan based on a series of updates:

  • A1: a preliminary system is into production from July 2016, based on Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v4 product family (Broadwell) with a computational power of 2Pflop/s.
  • A2: by the end of 2016 a new section is added, equipped with the next-generation of the Intel Xeon Phi product family (Knights Landing), based on a many-core architecture, enabling an overall configuration of about 250 thousand cores with additional computational power of ~ 11Pflop/s.
  • A3: finally, in August 2017, this system is planned to reach a total computational power of about 20Pflop/s utilizing future generation Intel Xeon processors (Sky Lakes).

This supercomputer takes advantage of the new Intel® Omni-Path Architecture, which provides the high performance interconnectivity required to efficiently scale the system’s thousands of servers. A high-performance Lenovo GSS storage subsystem, that integrates the IBM Spectrum Scale™ (GPFS) file system, is connected to the Intel Omni-Path Fabric and provides data storage capacity.

(see here the full press release).




Model: Lenovo NeXtScale 
Architecture: Intel OmniPath Cluster
Nodes: 1.512
Processors: 2 x 18-cores Intel Xeon E5-2697 v4 (Broadwell) at 2.30 GHz
Cores: 36 cores/node, 54.432 cores in total
RAM: 128 GB/node, 3.5 GB/core
Internal Network: Intel OmniPath
Disk Space: 17PB (raw) of local storage
Peak Performance: 2 PFlop/s