University of Edinburgh taps Atos for new supercomputer

Castle Edinburgh

Atos has been selected to deliver a supercomputer to the University of Edinburgh.

The French technology company will provide a BullSequana XH2000 to the university, which will contribute towards the Distributed Research Utilising Advanced Computing (DiRAC), a distributed HPC facility. The new system will help with to the Extreme Scaling Service of DiRAC, allowing scientists to conduct research into particle physics.

“We are delighted that the delivery of this state-of-the-art supercomputing system will allow our scientific community in the fields of particle physics, astronomy, cosmology, and nuclear physics to pursue cutting-edge research on a broad range of topics,” said Professor Luigi Del Debbio, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Edinburgh and Project Lead for the DiRAC-3 procurement at Edinburgh. “Atos’ equipment and expertise will bolster our HPC system offering at the upgraded DiRAC-3 facility, strengthening our research activity and supporting the education and training of our students.”

DiRAC has HPC systems hosted by the Universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge, Durham, and Leicester which support research in particle physics, astrophysics, nuclear physics, and cosmology. The new system is part of a £20 million ($28.2 million) investment by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) World Class Laboratories scheme, through the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), to upgrade the DiRAC facility.

“As well as delivering a highly capable solution, we are talking to Atos about the additional value they will bring in terms of industry collaboration and opportunities to enhance the training of our students to prepare them for careers in both academia and industry,” said Professor Mark Wilkinson, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Leicester and Director of the DiRAC Facility.

Atos said the new system will be more energy-efficient and uses 100 percent water-cooled using the company’s Direct Liquid Cooling solution, which uses warm water up to 40°C (104°F)

Agnès Boudot, SVP and head of HPC & Quantum at Atos, added: “We are pleased to be partnering with the University of Edinburgh and the DiRAC community to provide a high-performance computing platform to support their world-class science program. Our BullSequana XH2000 supercomputer will use both CPUs and GPUs and has been configured to meet the Extreme Scaling requirements of their scientists.”