NEC to Deploy Direct-Liquid Cooled, AMD EPYC Processor Powered Supercomputer for the German Aerospace Center (DLR)

NEC Corporation has announced that Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) – the German Aerospace Center – has awarded NEC with the delivery and installation of a new High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster solution, which constitutes one of the largest recent HPC tenders in Europe.

NEC will deliver and deploy a direct-liquid cooled HPC solution comprising 2,300 Gigabyte compute nodes based on the AMD EPYC 7601 processor, totaling up to 147,200 cores within a budget of more than 20 million Euros. The new DLR cluster will be hosted and administrated by the Center for Information Services and High Performance Computing (ZIH) at the new Datacenter of the Technische Universitat Dresden (TU Dresden), according to the strategic scientific co-operation between NEC and DLR.

The very challenging frame conditions for power and energy efficiency of DLR and ZIH requires most of the total solution to be direct-liquid cooled (DLC), at a warm water inlet temperature of 35degC. NEC employs a unique cooling solution with CPUs cooled directly and all other components employing secondary water cooling in closed racks. Thermal insulation of the racks minimizes inefficient air cooling in the computer room. The complete management of the solution includes such functions as a software environment for controlling the power consumption at runtime. NEC partnered with CoolIT Systems and Gigabyte to design Passive Coldplate Loops for servers equipped with AMD EPYC CPUs. The entire system was developed to work with high coolant temperatures to provide additional opportunities for heat re-use. Some non-DLC components are cooled by a thermally insulated liquid side-cooler solution supplied by Schafer IT.

The complete solution will include 116 large-memory nodes with a total of 58 Terabyte of main memory, 20 visualization nodes with two NVIDIA P5000 GPUs for remote visualization with NICE DCV, and a Lustre-based parallel HPC storage from Data Direct Networks, with a total capacity of 17 Petabyte and an aggregated bandwidth of 180 Gigabyte/s for the fastest partition. The high-speed interconnect is configured as a Mellanox HDR fabric in a Dragonfly+ setup.

Professor Dr. Norbert Kroll, acting director of the DLR Institute of Software Methods for Product Virtualization in Dresden, said, “NEC has completely convinced us with their expertise and by the design of the total solution, which excellently fits to our very specific and highly challenging demands, especially for the energy efficiency and total power consumption management that are defined by the hosting environment. There are few HPC solution providers in the world capable of delivering a solution like this, and NEC is surely one of them.”

Yuichi Kojima, Vice President, HPC EMEA, NEC Deutschland, said, “We are very proud that DLR has chosen NEC as the HPC supplier for this very big project. DLR is one of the most renowned aerospace institutes in the world, with an impeccable reputation in high-end research and development, and we feel honoured to be entrusted with the realization of this highly innovative and demanding HPC solution.”

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