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N°30  |  October   2008
Hot topics
The Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany chooses Bull to deliver a 200-teraflops supercomputer for the JuRoPA project
Bull is in a position to play a central role in the HPC revolution in Europe by being selected as the prime contractor for the JuRoPA project, which also includes Intel, ParTec, and Sun

The Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany's leading HPC center and the instigator of the JuRoPA project, aimed at accelerating the development of high performance cluster computing in Europe, has ordered from Bull a supercomputer with a performance of 200 Teraflops, to be deployed at the beginning of 2009 and integrated within the Jülich's data center network.

"Science and industry increasingly rely and profit from simulations on computers of the highest performance class," explained Prof. Thomas Lippert, Director of the Jülich Supercomputing Centre. “To support these growing demands Jülich has chosen Bull as prime contractor for the JuRoPA project which also includes Sun, ParTec and Intel. We consider Bull to be best suited to bring together the leading technologies in a partnership to create a most energy and performance effective general-purpose supercomputer for the wide range of simulation problems tackled in Jülich.”

The JuRoPA project (which stands for "Jülich Research on Petaflops Architectures") was set up by the Forschungszentrum Jülich to investigate emerging cluster technologies and achieve a new class of cost-efficient supercomputers for peta-scale computing. Explored technologies include hardware based on Intel® Xeon® processors and innovative extreme bandwidth low-latency network technologies, as well as a new class of HPC middleware from ParTec. Intel, ParTec, and Sun are contributors to the project, with Bull taking on overall responsibility.

A Bull architecture integrating best-of-breed technologies in a production-level system
Jülich's new supercomputer is a cluster combining Bull NovaScale servers, Sun blade servers, all based on future Intel® Xeon® processors, and complete HPC cluster software provided by ParTec. This is combined with a high-performance input-output (I/O) system based on a Sun ZFS/Lustre file system, guaranteeing end-to-end data integrity.
Bull supplies the know-how to integrate these advanced technologies while ensuring that the new supercomputer is an extremely effective tool with the production-level standards of a world-class HPC center.

The new system increases the currently available computing power by a factor of 20. It opens the door to advanced research projects, offering researchers the possibility to work on today's major challenges in scientific research including, for example, energy management, novel materials and climatology.

"Bull is very proud to be selected by the Forschungszentrum Jülich, which is one of the world’s largest research centers dedicated to high performance computer simulation" said Philippe Miltin, Vice President Bull Products and Systems. "It is also a major step in the involvement of Bull in computer simulation, and an acknowledgement of Bull's high-level know-how both as a technology provider and as an architect of complex and flexible solutions, in one of the most dynamic markets today".

With this contract, Bull is signaling that it can meet the European challenge of high-performance computer simulation and act as a major industrial player in this area, particularly through partnerships with some of the leading organizations. Having anticipated several years ago the current evolution in computer simulation technologies, Bull is today at the forefront of this discipline, working alongside the best. This represents a considerable strength for the European industry, and will benefit all Bull customers.

Bull accelerates strategic repositioning and confirms ambition to become European IT leader in the High Performance Computing market

Bull agrees to acquire science + computing ag, a leading HPC solutions and services company in Germany, the largest HPC market in Europe

Bull - expert in open, flexible and secure information systems, solutions and services and one of Europe's leading players in the IT industry - announces that it is making a major investment in one of its flagship core businesses - High-Performance Computing (HPC) - with the agreement to acquire science + computing ag (s+c), a German company with significant expertise in HPC solutions and services, particularly for major clients in the automotive and aeronautical and related industries. This acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval, and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Didier Lamouche, Chairman and CEO of Bull declared: "The acquisition of s+c is one of the most important investments the company has made since 2005 supporting its strategic repositioning. The combination of Bull and s+c will create a powerhouse in the European HPC landscape. s+c will bring its experience in HPC solutions and services for customers in the manufacturing sector, and will contribute to expand Bull's offering towards infrastructure services. Coming on the back of our recent selection as prime contractor for the 200-Teraflops supercomputer for the Jülich research centre, this acquisition also provides the Group with a significant foothold in the key German market."

Didier Lamouche added: "Together with the divestment we are announcing today, this acquisition demonstrates our determination to accelerate further the transformation of the Group."

Bull will provide s+c with the resources it needs to enhance its own technological and commercial development. Based in the Stuttgart area with offices in Munich, Berlin and Düsseldorf, s+c currently employs 270 experts in HPC and technical computing. s+c is responsible for a large number of critical engineering infrastructure projects in the automotive market, and will benefit from gaining access to Bull's offerings and expertise in very large-scale IT architectures. The company will maintain its operational independence, as well as its own management team, while at the same time benefiting from financial and industrial synergies with Bull.

According to Dr. Roland Niemeier, Chief Sales Officer and member of the Board of s+c: "We are excited to unite with Bull to create a force to be reckoned with in the HPC market in Europe by combining our strength and the talent of our teams with Bull's track record and huge expertise"

s+c recorded revenue of € 26 million in fiscal year 2007-2008, ended June 2008.

HPC, a domain of excellence for Bull
Bull is among the five leading IT players in the world - and the only one with roots in Europe - capable of designing, building and deploying supercomputers. In less than three years, Bull has successfully deployed more than 100 supercomputers in over 15 countries across three continents. Its most recent win is with the Jülich Research Center which particularly excels in physics (2007 Nobel Prize winner, Peter Grünberg), medicine and environmental sciences. The Jülich Research Center is Germany's largest HPC center and one of the biggest in the world and it has turned to Bull to build its new 200 Teraflops (200,000 billion operations a second) supercomputer.

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About s+c
science + computing ag (s+c) est une société de services informatiques dédiée à la conception technique et scientifique et aux environnements de simulation (CAD/CAE/CAT). s+c s'est spécialisée dans l'organisation des systèmes distribués ; s+c a également plusieurs années d'expérience dans la gestion et l'administration de systèmes complexes sous Unix, Linux et Windows. s+c compte à ce jour un effectif de 270 personnes réparties entre Tübingen, Münich, Düsseldorf et Berlin. Parmi les clients de s+c, on compte Audi, BMW, Bosch, Daimler, Porsche, Infineon Technologies. s+c s'appuie sur un réseau de distributeurs en Italie, au Japon et aux USA.
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