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Fujitsu has signed a contract to build a new supercomputer in Portugal. The supercomputer is part of an initiative by the European Union and Portugal to develop more HPC capacity for academic and corporate researchers.

The system will be named Deucalion, named after a character in Greek mythology, the son of Prometheus. Deucalion will be located at the Minho Advanced Computing Centre (MACC) in Portugal and is funded by the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking and the Portuguese Government’s Science and Technology Foundation (FCT). The organisations will pay 20 million euros to Fujitsu to build the supercomputer, which is scheduled for completion in early 2022.

Arm architecture

Deucalion is based entirely on the Arm architecture. For this purpose, Fujitsu uses its own new Fujitsu A64FX processor. This processor is also used in the RIKEN research institute’s Fugaku supercomputer. At 415 petaflops, Fugaku is currently the fastest supercomputer in the world. At 10 petaflops, Deucalion would rank 25th in the TOP500 list of the fastest supercomputers and would be the only one from Portugal on the list.

The MACC wants to use Deucalion for various purposes. It identifies areas such as personalised medicine, bioengineering, weather forecasting, the fight against climate change and research into new materials and medicines. The technology should also contribute to the use of big data and artificial intelligence.

Bob the supercomputer

Deucalion is not the first supercomputer to be installed at the Minho Advanced Computing Centre. A supercomputer called Bob was already installed at the complex. This computer consists of 800 nodes with two Intel Sandy Bridge octa-core processors each, totalling 12,800 cores. However, this supercomputer is significantly less fast than Deucalion will become.

Pushing the boundaries of research

Helena Pereira, president of FCT is enthusiastic about the new supercomputer. “In addition to an x86 platform, we wanted to push the boundaries of research by using the energy-efficient Arm processors. The Fujitsu A64FX is a good choice, as it is the first true HPC-compatible Arm processor with the SVE capability. The presence of a petascale supercomputer will dramatically change the capabilities of the Portuguese researchers. With the PRIMEHPC FX700 supercomputer technology, we will be at the forefront of global computing capacity for research projects.”

Carlos Barros, Managing Director at Fujitsu Portugal, commented, “We are pleased that MACC will be one of the first European customers to experience the benefits of this platform. The project aims to provide world-class computing to researchers in Portugal, and we look forward to, working closely with MACC in expanding access to the highest levels of HPC in the EU.”

Tip: Nvidia and EuroHPC team up for four new supercomputers