University of Luxembourg unveils supercomputer

The University of Luxembourg inaugurated its most powerful supercomputer AION at a ceremony in Belval in November 2021.

The High Performance Computer (HPC) allows the university to further accelerate research and face global competition, by achieving cutting-edge results. Concretely, the HPC will enable research and innovation based on intensive computing and large-scale data analysis, in particular in the fields of computer science, materials physics, bio-medicine and life sciences, cryptology and artificial intelligence, but will also be used for digital history and socio-economic simulations.

AION is an Atos/Bull supercomputer which consists of 318 compute nodes, totalling 40704 compute cores and 81408 GB RAM, with a peak performance of about 1.7 petaflops. The €3.5 million machine, housed in the university’s “Centre de Calcul” data centre, will be the university’s flagship supercomputer until 2024.

Digital strategy
“The computer’s installation was a long journey, including many testing and validation phases before we were able to launch it. We are now very proud of this new tool, which is the most powerful supercomputer the university ever deployed,” said Dr. Sébastien Varrette, HPC Manager at the University in a statement.

By combining the existing Iris supercomputer with AION, the university has a total computing capacity of 2.8 petaflops and a shared storage capacity of 10 petabytes.

According to Prof. Pascal Bouvry, Special Advisor to the rector for HPC, “the new generations of supercomputers coupled with the existing high-level expertise in the field will leverage new discoveries”, while Prof. Jens Kreisel, Vice-Rector for research, praised the new HPC as “an important element” to implement the university’s digital strategy.

“Excellent research and teaching need excellent research infrastructures. With AION, the university reinforces its position as an international frontrunner in HPC and further enhances its attractiveness for the most covetable academic staff, experts and students, and thereby increases Luxembourg’s talent pool,” he added.

The inauguration of AION ties in with the launch of a new ‘’European Master in High Performance Computing’’, to be led by the university from September 2022 onwards, as the first pan-European HPC pilot Master’s programme.

The University of Luxembourg takes part in the HPC national competence centre in collaboration with LuxProvide and Luxinnovation and is also part of the EuroHPC network.

This article was written by Roxana Mironescu and was originally published in December 2021 on Silicon Luxembourg.

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