The University of Luxembourg inaugurates its AION supercomputer, supplied by Atos


November 10, 2021 – The University of Luxembourg officially unveiled its AION high performance computer (HPC) during a ceremony at the Belval campus. The new supercomputer now provides state-of-the-art support to University researchers and partners.

The supercomputer will enable research and innovation based on high-performance computing and large-scale data analysis, including the fields of computer science, materials physics, biomedicine and life sciences, cryptology and artificial intelligence, but also digital history or socio-economic simulations.

Professor Jens Kreisel, Vice-Rector for Research at the University, points out that the new HPC will be an important element in implementing the University’s ambitious digital strategy. “Excellent research and education requires excellent research infrastructure. With AION, the University strengthens its position as the international leader of HPC and strengthens its attractiveness for academic staff, experts and the most coveted students, and thus increases Luxembourg’s talent pool.

High performance computing as a strategic priority

“High Performance Computing, High Performance Data Analysis and Artificial Intelligence are the cornerstones of European, national and university strategies”, explains 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 make it possible to take advantage of new discoveries. The University of Luxembourg participates in the national HPC competence center in collaboration with LuxProvide and Luxinnovation, is part of the EuroHPC network and has de facto established a solid strategic position in the field.

At the University, this rapidly growing central system supports the deployment of the University’s Digital Strategy and its long-term Strategic Framework 2020-2039.

The launch of AION is also linked to the recently announced new European Master in High Performance Computing, which will start in September 2022 as the first pan-European HPC pilot master program. The Master will be managed by the University of Luxembourg.

A powerful instrument

AION is an Atos / Bull supercomputer composed of 318 compute nodes (equipped with the latest generation of AMD processors), totaling 40,704 compute cores and 81,408 GB of RAM, with a maximum performance of around 1.70 petaflops.

“The installation and configuration of this powerful machine and its associated ecosystem have been delayed for one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” comments Dr. Sébastien Varrette, HPC manager at the University. “Setting up the computer was a long journey, including many phases of testing and validation before it could be launched. We are now very proud of this new tool, which is the most powerful supercomputer the University has ever deployed! This would not have been possible without the considerable efforts of the partners involved, including at the University and at Atos, so I would like to express my deep gratitude to them for this achievement ”.

By combining the previously existing Iris supercomputer with the new AION system, the University’s HPC achieves a cumulative computing capacity of 2.8 petaflops coupled with a shared storage capacity of 10 Petabytes.

Source: University of Luxembourg


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