First European Exascale Supercomputer to Be Hosted in Jülich

The European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) has made its decision: Forschungszentrum Jülich will be home to Europe’s first exascale computer. The supercomputer is set to be the first in Europe to surpass the threshold of one trillion calculations per second (exaflops). The system will be acquired by the European supercomputing initiative EuroHPC JU. The exascale computer should help to solve important and urgent scientific questions regarding, for example, climate change, how to combat pandemics, and sustainable energy production, while also enabling the intensive use of artificial intelligence and the analysis of large data volumes.

The overall costs for the system amount to € 500 million. Of this total, € 250 million is being provided by EuroHPC JU and a further € 250 million in equal parts by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MKW NRW). The Jülich Supercom­puting Centre (JSC) had participated in the application procedure for this high-end supercomputer as a member of the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS), an association of Germany’s three national supercomputing centres – JSC in Jülich, the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS), and the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) in Garching.

The computer, which will be called JUPITER (short for “Joint Undertaking Pioneer for Innovative and Transfor­mative Exascale Research”), will be installed as of 2023 in a specially designed building on the campus of Forschungszentrum Jülich and will be operated by JSC. Just like Jülich's current supercomputer JUWELS, JUPITER will be based on a dynamic, modular supercomputing architecture, which Forschungszentrum Jülich developed together with European and international partners in the EU’s DEEP research projects.

In its basic configuration, JUPITER will have an enormously powerful booster module with highly efficient GPU-based computation accelerators. Massively parallel applications are accelerated by this booster in a similar way to a turbocharger, for example to calculate high-resolution climate models, develop new materials, simulate complex cell processes and energy systems, advance basic research, or train next-generation, computationally intensive machine-learning algorithms.

One major challenge is the energy that is required for such large computing power. The average power is anticipated to be up to 15 megawatts. JUPITER has been designed as a “green” supercomputer and will be powered by green electricity. The envisaged warm water cooling system should help to ensure that JUPITER achieves the highest efficiency values. At the same time, the cooling technology opens up the possibility of intelligently using the waste heat that is produced. For example, just like its predecessor system JUWELS, JUPITER is set to be connected to the new low-temperature network on the Forschungszentrum Jülich campus. Further potential applications for the waste heat from JUPITER are currently being investigated.

“The EuroHPC decision enables us to take this significant step towards exascale in cooperation with research and industry, scientific users, and funding agencies”, states Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Lippert, head of JSC, proudly. “Immense challenges exist at various levels – both technical and financial. However, it is important to realize that we are talking about a machine from which the whole of society will benefit. From traffic optimization, autonomous driving, and environmental monitoring right up to digital twins: all these challenges are extremely calculation-intensive and are reliant on new technologies, many of which we can tap into with the modular exascale system.”

Further information on the planned system and statements from representatives of the funding bodies and institutions involved can be found in the press release by Forschungszentrum Jülich.

Contact: Prof. Thomas Lippert

from JSC News No. 289, 4 July 2022

Last Modified: 08.07.2022