How do modern supercomputers work
Supercomputer JUWELS: As fast as 60,000 modern computers
JUWELS is a real arithmetic artist: It calculates how proteins unfold, fiber webs run in the brain or how water vapor behaves in the stratosphere - all as fast as 60,000 modern computers. This makes JUWELS the fastest computer in Germany. In a global comparison, it ranks 23rd. For the time being: The supercomputer, which was inaugurated in the presence of Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek at the Jülich Research Center, is a milestone on the way to a new generation of highly flexible modular supercomputers. That means: JUWELS consists of different modules. These can be dynamically and flexibly combined depending on the computing requirements - and expanded at any time. In the coming year, a so-called booster module is to multiply the computing power of JUWELS.
JUWELS looks to the future
The main task of JUWELS will be to simulate complex scientific relationships. For example, he can create brain atlases, simulate neural networks or the effects of new drugs or check statements about climate change. Many other applications come from the engineering sciences, life sciences, security research as well as astronomy, physics or chemistry. “High-performance computers like JUWELS are looking to the future,” said Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek at the inauguration. This goes hand in hand with a great responsibility to put cutting-edge research at the service of society. “You can research applications that may be part of everyday life for us in a decade or two,” says Karliczek. "The simulations can help us to better meet challenges such as climate change or neurological diseases."
Modular supercomputers: promising, affordable and energy-efficient technology
Thanks to the modular design, JUWELS does not always have to provide top performance: it uses the resources that it needs for the respective task precisely - and can thus also save energy. "For us, modular supercomputing is the key to a promising, affordable and energy-efficient technology," says Thomas Lippert, inventor of the adaptable design and director of the Jülich Supercomputing Center. The new technology is therefore in great demand among European researchers: JUWELS is fully booked for the next few months.
Federal and state governments strengthen world-class research infrastructure
From Jülich, JUWELS will contribute its computing power to the Gauss Center for Supercomputing (GCS). Other partners of the GCS are the High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) and the Leibniz Supercomputing Center in Munich. The GCS is financed by the federal government and the respective host countries. In this context, the Federal Ministry of Research will support further expansion phases of JUWELS and its operation with a total of around 73 million euros. That is the same amount that North Rhine-Westphalia has pledged for this project. This shows: "World-class research infrastructure is always possible when the federal government and the state work together as well as they do here," said Federal Research Minister Karliczek.
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