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IBM's eServer Foundation For Supercomputer In Europe

The Research Centre Juelich in Germany this week becomes host to Europe's most powerful supercomputer, an IBM based on the eServer p690 systems. The computer will be capable of a peak performance of 8.9 teraflops, or 8.9 trillion operations per second.

Juelich is one of three national supercomputing centres in Germany; the others are the High Performance Computing Centre in Stuttgart and the Leibniz Computing Centre in Munich. Both also run IBM installations. Another large IBM installation can be found at the High Performance Computer Centre Hanover and Berlin. Germany is the leading country in Europe in the field of supercomputing with twice as many teraflops as the closest contenders - France and the United Kingdom. (For more information, see

The activities at the Research Centre Juelich cover five key areas: matter, energy, information technology, life and environment. The new supercomputer will give scientists across Germany access to huge amounts of computing power and allow researchers to work together.

The Juelich supercomputer has 1,312 processors provided by 41 IBM p690 servers with 32 processors per unit, using the POWER4+ copper technology. The cluster is managed by IBM's Cluster Systems Management software, based on AIX 5.2, IBM's flagship Unix operating system. Cluster nodes interconnect via the pSeries High Performance Switch providing a redundant low latency and high bandwidth communication network to all processors. Each system has access to several parallel file systems based on IBM's General Parallel Filesystem (GPFS) software, and uses SAN technology powered by the FAStT Storage Server product line. Users have access to 60 terabytes of data capacity, which is equal to 60 trillion bytes, or roughly 60 million 1,000-page-books.

The IBM supercomputer is accessible through UNICORE and will be part of national and European grids.