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E4 Computer Engineering wins third and final phase of PCP (Pre-Commercial Procurement) commissioned by PRACE

E4 Computer Engineering wins third and final phase of PCP (Pre-Commercial Procurement) commissioned by PRACE, with an innovative OpenPOWER-based HPC cluster built on top of IBM POWER8 architecture to be exhibited at SC16 in Salt Lake City

Early this week, PRACE announced the winners of the third and final phase of its Pre-commercial Procurement (PCP). Out of the three companies involved in the tender, E4 scored the highest points with an innovative and energy efficient OpenPOWER-based HPC cluster that will be exhibited during SC16: D.AV.I.D.E. SUPERCOMPUTER

PRACE initiated the selection process in 2012 to obtain R&D services which should result in future PRACE HPC systems to become more energy efficient. The strict selection process saw several phases, in which the pre-selected European companies were asked to design HPC solutions that would not only be able to outstandingly perform on the most complex alghoritms used by scientists and researchers, but would also drastically reduce power consumption.

PRACE’s selection process is highly competitive and, during Phase II, the three companies produced early prototypes. All of them were invited to bid for Phase III, during which the pilot for the three promising solutions will be built and deployed at the hosting centres. E4 stood out since the early steps of the selection and, thanks to the expertise acquired through years of collaboration with leading European research centers, has proposed a solution that was ranked first place for performance capabilities: D.A.V.I.D.E. SUPERCOMPUTER is a Petaflop-class HPC solution, designed, integrated and tested by E4, that is based on OpenPOWER architecture, using IBM POWER8 processors with NVLink bus and the ultra performing GPGPU NVIDIA® TESLA® P100 SXM2.

The Open Rack form factor compute nodes were provided by Wistron® Corporation to ensure full customization of the solution. Another significant feature is represented by the liquid cooling modules by COOL IT, which help increase energy efficiency compared to the more standard fans. The University of Bologna was also involved in the project with a software that enables power monitoring, profiling and management, while code porting and optimization were performed by the British based firm Doublewoods Consultants Ltd.

Attendees of SC16 in Salt Lake City will be able to see an example of the system at E4’s booth #4630.

“D.A.V.I.D.E. SUPERCOMPUTER represents a breakthrough innovation for scientists and researchers who require high performances to enable scientific discovery, while keeping an eye on power consumption to reduce costs and environmental impact – said Fabrizio Magugliani, Strategic Planning & Business Development at E4 - We are honored to have been selected for the third phase of the PCP in an open competition with other European companies. OpenPOWER based platforms are the harbinger of a new generation of HPC systems which deliver high performances while being environmentally conscious and allowing scientists to make their dreams become a reality”.

“Today’s emerging workloads like machine and deep learning, artificial intelligence, accelerated databases, and high performance data analytics require incredible speed through accelerated computing”- said Sumit Gupta, IBM VP, High Performance Computing & Data Analytics - “Delivering the capabilities of the new IBM POWER8 with NVIDIA NVLink-based system through the new E4’s cluster brings a highly accelerated computing platform with remarkable energy efficiency to scientists and HPC users requirements.”

“Co-finance and actively participate to the technological innovation processes in Europe is part of our institutional mission – said Sanzio Bassini, Director of Department of Supercomputing Applications and Innovation at CINECA - We therefore partake of the success achieved by E4 in this PCP initiative, and we are ready to promote the new computing system by E4, that will complement the supercomputers in production at our data center, with the migration activity of computing applications and optimization of the performance of the algorithms in order to make the most of the technological potential of this new prototype that will be launched into production in early 2017.”

Since 2002, E4 has been innovating and actively encouraging the adoption of new computing and storage technologies. With a comprehensive range of hardware, software and services, we are able to offer you solutions for the most demanding workloads on: HPC, Big-Data, AI, Deep Learning, Data Analytics, Cognitive Computing and much more. http://www.e4sc16.com/
Contacts : Ludovica.delpiano@e4company.com ; agnese.reina@e4company.com

ABOUT OpenPOWER Foundation
The OpenPOWER Foundation was founded in 2013 as an open technical membership organization that will enable data centers to rethink their approach to technology. Member companies are enabled to customize POWER CPU processors and system platforms for optimization and innovation for their business needs. These innovations include custom systems for large or warehouse scale data centers, workload acceleration through GPU, FPGA or advanced I/O, platform optimization for SW appliances, or advanced hardware technology exploitation. OpenPOWER members are actively pursing all of these innovations and more and welcome all parties to join in moving the state of the art of OpenPOWER systems design forward.

Cineca is a non profit Consortium, made up of 70 Italian universities*, 6 Italian Research Institutions and the Italian Ministry of Education. Today it is the largest Italian computing centre, one of the most important worldwide. With more seven hundred employees, it operates in the technological transfer sector through high performance scientific computing, the management and development of networks and web based services, and the development of complex information systems for treating large amounts of data. It develops advanced Information Technology applications and services, acting like a trait-d’union between the academic world, the sphere of pure research and the world of industry and Public Administration. Contact: p.coluccia@cineca.it


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