New supercomputer for climate research inaugurated in Hamburg

A new supercomputer called Levante has been inaugurated at the German Climate Computing Center. It is said to allow incredibly detailed climate simulations and enables 14 quadrillion mathematical operations per second (14 petaflops).

Levante: a supercomputer goes into service in Hamburg

On September 22, 2022, the new Levante supercomputer began operations at the German Climate Computing Center (DKRZ). It is provided by Atos and is used for climate research. Due to its enormous computing power, it should enable detailed climate simulations that have not been feasible until now.

Levante is made up of 2,832 tightly networked computers, each with two processors, which together have a performance of 14 petaflops and can perform 14 quadrillion mathematical operations per second. An impressive figure, but not quite up to the Mare Nostrum 5 with 314 PFLOPS.

Each AMD EPYC processor has 64 processor cores, giving the supercomputer a total of over 362,000 processing cores. The main memory comprises more than 800 terabytes, which are divided into memory sizes between 256 GB and 1024 GB. In addition to the CPU partition with conventional computers, Levante has a partition with 60 GPU nodes which provide power additional peak computing power of 2.8 petaflops.

Data transfer between computers is extremely fast thanks to NVIDIA Mellanox HDR 200G. Up to 200 Gbit/s are possible. The data is stored on a storage system with a total capacity of 132 petabytes, which is provided by DDN.

In November 2017, an agreement between the Helmholtz Association, the Max Planck Society and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg approved financial resources for Levante. A total amount of 45 million euros has been agreed.

High resolution climate models

“The new Levante supercomputer at DKRZ will enable even more complete, higher resolution and therefore better climate projections in the future,” says Federal Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger of the FDP.

They must provide even more complete and detailed information on the effects of climate change than was possible before. The Levante supercomputer also opens up new possibilities in terms of energy efficiency.

According to Professor Dr. Thomas Ludwig, Managing Director of DKRZ, the waste heat will be used to heat the laboratories in the nearby university building. In doing so, the supercomputer allows particularly fine climate simulations (with a mesh width of only 1 km).

“Although only for a few hours, it has never been possible for anyone else before. It has only been possible because we now have Levante”, adds Professor Jochem Marotzke, director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology.

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