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Intel and Atos start second phase of AI and ML supercomputer

Steve Rogerson
January 30, 2020

Intel, Atos and the North-German Supercomputing Alliance (HLRN) have started the second phase of building the HLRN-IV supercomputer system at the Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB) to run compute-intensive projects involving mathematical simulations, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).
The system, named Lise, consists of 1180 compute nodes powered by second-generation Intel Xeon Platinum 9200 processors.
“Working closely with Atos enabled us to reach a significant technology milestone at HLRN,” said Trish Damkroger, Intel vice president. “The long-standing partnership between Intel, Atos and HLRN continues to drive tremendous advancements in scientific research and discovery.”
HLRN operates a massively parallel supercomputing system that serves over 200 universities and research institutions in Germany. The Xeon Platinum 9200 processors deliver the computing power HLRN needs to blend traditional simulation techniques with machine learning and AI. The Lise supercomputer will allow HLRN to meet the increasing demands of scientists and researchers as they unlock the value of their data and make discoveries in:

  • Earth system sciences, including climate, oceans, rain forests, glaciers, Antarctic phytoplankton (microalgae), mineral dust cycles and the stratosphere.
  • Fluid dynamics, including turbulence models for ship turbines, wind turbines and aircraft wings.
  • Healthcare, including computer-aided drug design, improving medical care at home, and a better understanding of illness and treatment of diseases.
Recognising that the convergence of machine learning and AI with traditional simulation capabilities will continue to take researchers in many directions, Atos customised and optimised Lise compute nodes using the Intel S9200WK server system as a foundation, while leveraging the flexibility inherent in Xeon Platinum 9200 processors to support HLRN’s research.
“By entering into the second phase of our efforts with Atos and Intel, our users will benefit right away from the more powerful system without needing to change their code,” said Alexander Reinefeld, a professor at ZIB. “The HLRN-IV supercomputer provides true performance portability, which is a crucial aspect for our researchers in order to quickly benefit from the new, more powerful system.”
Intel, Atos and HLRN started work on the HLRN-IV supercomputer in early 2019. In December 2019, the organisations kicked off the second phase of building the HLRN-IV system.