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The Netherlands launches fastest supercomputer

Tomorrow, State Secretary Dekker (OCW) officially inaugurates Cartesius, the new national supercomputer at SURFsara. At Science Park Amsterdam, the State Secretary will symbolically submit one of the first compute tasks to the system. Cartesius is the fastest supercomputer in the Netherlands and eventually will be able to perform more than one quadrillion computations per second (1 Petaflop/s). This is up to 100,000 times faster than an average PC. Researchers in science and industry are working with increasingly larger and more complex models and data sets, therefore more compute capacity is needed. Cartesius will be used for research areas such as sustainable energy, climate change, water management, product and process optimization, reduction of noise pollution and improvement of medical treatments. The supercomputer contributes to maintaining the leading position of the Netherlands in top research and offers industry opportunities to strengthen their competitiveness.

State Secretary Dekker: “Cartesius enables our scientists to achieve important new scientific insights, and can help to force breakthroughs. But not only that: businesses are eager to transform such breakthroughs into innovations, which could lead to millions of revenue. Therefore the new supercomputer is of great importance for our knowledge economy.”

To celebrate the inauguration of Cartesius, SURFsara organizes on 14 June, 2013 the symposium “Computing of the Future”. In the morning session, the emphasis is on scientific research and how Cartesius can contribute to obtaining rapid and new research results. Bull Nederland is the supplier of the national supercomputer. Jean-Marc Denis, International Business Development Director of Bull France, explains the specifications, sustainable aspects, and the various phases of the implementation.

Anwar Osseyran, SURFsara managing director: “With Cartesius we have deliberately chosen for an on-demand strategy. Our on-demand strategy allows us to offer cost-effective capacity tailored to the needs of the Dutch researchers. With the new generation Intel Xeon chips, combined with the latest hot water cooling technology of Bull, we have the most powerful, but also one of the greenest computer systems in the Netherlands. Together with Bull as technology and business partner, we work on strengthening the competitive position of the Netherlands in science as well as in business.”

In the afternoon the emphasis lies on the technology transfer between science and industry. (Inter)national guest speakers will present their future vision with a focus on the importance of high performance computing (HPC) and collaborations.

Lucas Grinsven, Head of Communications and Community Relations at ASML, elaborates how Dutch technology is a keystone for Moore’s Law and thus allowing supercomputing. Dr. Stephen Wheat, General Manager of the High Performance Computing Division at Intel, discusses the importance of Big Data and the potential of “Internet of Things”. He also pays attention to the central role of Intel in the field of innovation in HPC.

The investment for the new system is made possible by SURF, with contributions from the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.