One of the world's most powerful supercomputers, LUMI, will take Flemish research and competitiveness to a next level.
EuroHPC is bundling European resources to develop high-quality exascale supercomputers for processing large amounts of data. One of the pan-European pre-exa-scale supercomputers, LUMI (Large Unified Modern Infrastructure), will enter CSC's data center in Kajaani, Finland. Belgium is one of the participating countries, along with nine other countries (Finland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland). Preparations are now in full swing, as LUMI is planned to be operational mid-2021.
What will the architecture look like and how fast will it be?
LUMI will become one of the most competitive supercomputers in the world. The design philosophy for LUMI is to create a platform for AI (e.g. deep learning) and traditional large-scale simulations with powerful data analysis. The aim with this setup is to solve large and difficult research problems.
LUMI's peak performance will be 553 petaflop/s, as such surpassing that of the world's current fastest supercomputer in Fugaku, Japan. At the time of operationalization, in mid-2021, LUMI will be one of the most powerful supercomputers.
The supercomputer is one element of an HPC and HPDA architecture in which ample storage capacity, flexible IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) and cloud service components are brought together. The connection with ultra-fast networks anchors the LUMI architecture in a complex European HPC/HPDA ecosystem.
Here is an overview of the architecture:
With LUMI scheduled to become operational in the middle of next year, research communities are now thinking about how to leverage the significant increase in computing power that LUMI will provide.
Why is Flanders participating in this?
By participating in the LUMI consortium, Flanders wants to take the application of supercomputing and big data analysis within research, industry and governments to a significantly higher level. Due to the very large scale and the specific architecture of LUMI, considerable computing power will be available at a significantly lower cost than owned infrastructure. Flemish researchers, entrepreneurs and governments will have direct access through Flanders' own contribution, but also via the share of the European Commission that will largely be made available through Horizon Europe. This investment of 3.5 million euros will at least double the total available computing capacity for Flanders for the next 5 years.
Furthermore, joining the LUMI consortium will be gateway to the very extensive expertise and competences of other participating countries. LUMI's services and communication structures are in fact explicitly aimed at making maximum use of and sharing those capacities.
20% of the LUMI capacity is available for industry, with a special focus on innovative SMEs. This will be an important stepping stone to boost the competitiveness and efficiency of the Flemish innovative entrepreneur.
Who can use LUMI and how can they apply?
Half of the available resources go to the participating countries (the other half is distributed through Europe). Each consortium country has a share proportional to the country's contribution to the LUMI funding. Since Belgium, after Finland, is the most important partner in the consortium, that share will be significant.
So what does this mean in practice?
A researcher in Flanders or a company that has its head office here can submit an application. Further details regarding the application process are currently under review and will be announced soon.
What is the environmental impact of such a data center?
Reducing CO2 emissions is an important goal in Europe, and the location of the EuroHPC machines has a huge impact, as supercomputers use a lot of electricity. Supercomputers the size of LUMI would generate 50,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually if powered by fossil fuel-based electricity. However, the LUMI data center will use sustainable and CO2-neutral electricity.
LUMI will also use hot water cooling, in this way the residual heat can be used in the district heating network and thus replace the heat from fossil fuels. The residual heat from LUMI that will be used in the district heating network corresponds to a maximum of 20 percent of the energy for district heating of Kajaani, an amount equal to the output of 4,000 passenger cars.
What is solved with LUMI?
The creativity of European research community will ultimately determine what types of problems will be solved with LUMI. To give you an idea of the wide range of problems that can be tackled with the help of supercomputer, here are some Flemish examples:
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