Hartree Centre to take delivery of powerful new generation supercomputer

January 20, 2017

Paris, London, 20th January 2017

Atos, a leader in digital transformation, has announced a major collaboration with the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Hartree Centre which includes the purchase of the first Bull sequana X1000 supercomputer system in the UK and one of the most powerful in the world.

The collaboration is focused on a number of activities aimed at addressing the Government’s Industrial Strategy which encourages closer collaboration between academia and industry, including:

  • The launch of a new UK based High Performance Computing (HPC) as a Service Offering (HPCaaS), which enables both large and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to take advantage of extreme computing performance through easily accessible Cloud portals. Improving SME access to such tools encourages and supports high-tech business innovation across the UK.
  • ‘Deep Learning’ as a service (DLaaS); an emerging cognitive computing technique with broad applicability from automated voice recognition to medical imaging. The technology can be used, for example, to automatically detect anomalies in mammography scans with a higher degree of accuracy than the human eye.

The new supercomputer will allow both academic and industry organisations to use the latest technology and develop applications using the most recent advances in artificial intelligence and high performance data analytics. As such, the Bull sequana system will aid Hartree to become the ‘go-to’ place in the UK for technology evaluation, supporting the work of major companies in fields ranging from engineering and consumer goods to healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

Andy Grant, Head of Big Data and HPC, Atos UK&I: “We believe that our Bull supercomputing technology, people and collaborative approach will reinforce the Centre’s reputation as a world class HPC centre of excellence and as the flagship model for industry-academic collaboration.

Atos’s HPC innovation also delivers environmental benefits as use of direct liquid cooling technology means Bull sequana is amongst the most energy efficient general purpose supercomputer ever built.”

Alison Kennedy, Director of the Hartree Centre said: “The Hartree Centre works at the leading edge of emerging technologies and provides substantial benefits to the many industrial and research organisations that come to us.  Our collaboration with Atos will ensure that we continue to enable businesses, large and small, to make the best use of supercomputing and Big Data to develop better products and services that will boost productivity and drive growth.

The partnership also encompasses a joint project to develop next-generation hardware and software solutions and application optimisation services, so that commercial and academic users benefit from the Hartree systems. It is also helping promote participation in STEM careers at higher education level and beyond, particularly in the North West of the UK.

The Bull sequana will be approximately 3.4 PFlops when installed and is composed of Intel® Xeon® and many core Xeon Phi™ (Knights Landing) processor technology.  It has been designed to accommodate future blade systems for Deep Learning, GPU and ARM based computing.

The new Bull sequana system is one of the most energy efficient general purpose supercomputers in the world and is in the TOP20 of the Green500 list of the most energy efficient computers.