Eurora, the PRACE prototype installed at Cineca: a new record for energy efficiency

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Eurora, equipped with two Intel Xeon E5-2687W CPUs and two NVIDIA K20 accelerators per node, (currently 64 compute cards) and based on a hot water cooling system, delivered 3,150 megaflops per watt of sustained performance – a mark 26 percent higher than the top system on the most recent Green500 list of the world’s most efficient supercomputers.

Funded by PRACE 2IP, the project Eurora aimed at evaluating new architectures for the next generation Tier 0 systems. Eurora is the result of the collaboration between Eurotech and Cineca and the prototype, currently equipped with NVIDIA accelerators, is available to the members of PRACE and to the major Italian research entities.

Eurora will enable scientists to advance research and discovery across a range of scientific disciplines, including QCD, material science, astrophysics, life science, earth science and weather forecast.

“Advanced computer simulations that enable scientists to discover new phenomena and test hypotheses require massive amounts of performance, which can consume a lot of power,” said Sanzio Bassini, director of HPC department at Cineca. “Currently equipped with the ultra-efficient Aurora system and NVIDIA GPU accelerators, Eurora will give European researchers the computing muscle to study all types of physical and biological systems, while allowing us to keep data center power consumption and costs in check.”

Eurora prototype configuration

  • 64 compute cards
  • 128 Xeon SandyBridge
  • 16GByte DDR3 1600MHz per node
  • 160GByte SSD per node
  • 1 FPGA (Altera Stratix V) per node
  • IB QDR interconnect
  • 3D Torus interconnect
  • 128 Accelerator cards (NVIDIA K20 or INTEL PHI)