Poland unveils country’s fastest ever supercomputer the size of a small APARTMENT
Poland's fastest ever supercomputer has been unveiled in Kraków at the city's elite AGH University of Science and Technology.
Named Athena after the Greek goddess of wisdom, the supercomputer has a mind-boggling computing power of over 7.7 petaflops and according to the university it is set to give a boost to Polish science and innovation.
"The launch of the supercomputer offers completely new opportunities for computationally-intensive science," said Marek Magryś, deputy director for High-Power Computers at the AGH University of Science and Technology Cyfronet.
Athena now takes its place as not only the fastest supercomputer in Poland, but also 105th in the world, and 9th on the Green500 list of the world's greenest supercomputers.
The supercomputer makes it possible to significantly shorten the time needed to perform calculations, which with the use of single computers would often take many years - sometimes over 150, 700 or even 1,000 years.
With Athena, these tasks can be performed within a few hours, and for large tasks a few days.
Athena consists of 48 servers with AMD EPYC processors, each with 1TB of RAM, having a total of 6144 CPU computing cores. In addition, the machine is equipped with 384 NVIDIA A100 GPU cards.
Thanks to this, the supercomputer is able to perform 7.7 trillion operations per second.
The immense measurements of the computer’s performance are matched by its size. Based on footprint, it is similar in size to a small apartment. Like an apartment, it has an entrance, in this case, neat double sliding doors.
A corridor runs the length of Athena, leading off which are doors, presumably offering access to cavities stuffed with the computer’s high-tech innards.
A permanent part of Academic Computer Centre CYFRONET AGH in Kraków, the supercomputer will also be available for researchers from all over Poland thanks to PLGrid infrastructure.
Athena has been installed in Kraków as part of the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU), which aims to create a pan-European computing infrastructure.
EuroHPC JU selected five sites where new supercomputers will be installed to build Europe's data processing infrastructure - Greece, Ireland, Germany, Hungary and Poland.
"The selection of Poland as the place of installation of one of the EuroHPC JU systems is an important distinction, confirming the country’s competence in the maintenance and operational use of supercomputers at the world level,” the Academic Computer Centre Cyfronet AGH said in a statement.
Athena will make it possible to carry out scientific research on a much larger scale than before, in particular for the design of medicines and new materials.
Until recently, the fastest supercomputer in Poland was Altair, launched in 2021 and located in the Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center, having nearly 6 petaflops of computing power.
Currently, Altair is the second fastest supercomputer in Poland, while ranking 145th in the world.
It is used primarily for research on artificial intelligence and data analytics in the sciences such as quantum physics, quantum chemistry and biology.
The third fastest computer in Poland is Ares, which, like Athena, is located at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow. The supercomputer is ranked as the 290th fastest supercomputer in the world.
The fourth and fifth fastest computers in Poland are respectively Tryton Plus located in Gdansk (2.82 petaflops, 462nd place in the world) and Prometheus (2.35 petaflops, 475th place in the world).
Polish supercomputers are still quite a bit behind the fastest machines in the world. Currently, the leader, from the United State, is Frontier, which is capable of reaching the computing power of 1685 petaflops.
Second place is occupied by the Japanese Fugaku with a computing power of 537 petaflops, while the third fastest supercomputer in the world is the Finnish computer LUMI with a computing power of 214 petaflops.