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Archives
May 2007
Business cases

• Hanover University (Germany)
• Reims University (France)

• Quadrics (Italy)

• Kraftway (Russia)
• Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital (United Kingdom)

University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne chooses Bull NovaScale supercomputers to host its high-performance computing (HPC) applications

Bull has signed a contract with the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne to supply a Bull NovaScale® supercomputer. These servers have been deployed at the university’s IT Resources Center since November 2006 to help expand the university’s own scientific and industrial research, as well as its collaborative work with other research centers and enterprises in the region.

    

The Bull NovaScale supercomputer, code-named ROMEO II, delivers some 500 gigaflops* of power. It enables the collaborative work between a number of partners – the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, acting as the contracting authority for the project; the University of Technology at Troyes; the Research and Study Center at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts et Métiers (ENSAM) at Châlons-en-Champagne; and the French Atomic Energy Authority (CEA/DAM) in the Ile-de-France as part of the TER@TEC partnership agreement with the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne.

An ambitious research program
Equipped with Intel® Itanium® 2 processors, the new NovaScale supercomputer will supply the computing power required by the whole of the University’s scientific community, as well as its partners in industry. The research activities being carried out range from optimizing the performance of swimwear worn by swimming champions, or improving our understanding of certain fundamental biological mechanisms, to resolving combination or scheduling problems. The main areas of scientific research involved are:
Mathematics and information technology: parallelization of non-numerical algorithms (optimizing task planning and scheduling, logic circuit design in electronics), performance and programming models for new computing architectures...
Engineering and physical sciences: scientific computing applications in fluid mechanics, processes relating to particles in the atmosphere, mechanisms for shaping of new materials…
Molecular modeling: modeling complex molecular systems (organic chemistry reactions, improved understanding of biological mechanisms, proteins and molecular dynamics, modeling of materials used for packaging)...
Implementation and operation of ‘multi-processor clusters’, such as those used in ROMEO II itself.

According to Professor Michaël Krajecki, Head of the ROMEO project: “The implementation of our Bull NovaScale supercomputer is part of our strategy for the Champagne-Ardenne Region that aims to accelerate university and scientific research by giving enterprises and local research centers access to supercomputing resources. This infrastructure will enable the region to meet the growing demands for computing power coming from the University’s research community and its partners.

The choice made by the University of the Champagne-Ardenne region confirms Bull’s strategy of providing a flexible and scaleable range of solutions based on standard components: enabling us to meet not only the needs of major worldwide research centers, but also the demands of smaller, local centers,” explained Benoît Hallez, Director of Bull HPC Business Unit.

* 1 gigaflop = one billion operations per second.

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