New BASF high-performance computer is the world’s largest supercomputer for industrial chemical research
Quriosity has more than 1,000 compute nodes and 3,000 terabytes of storage capacity. The photo shows a close-up of a compute node of BASF's new supercomputer. PIX: BASF
BASF has started up a new supercomputer at its Ludwigshafen site to replace the existing one. With 3 petaflops of computing power, the new supercomputer is considerably more powerful than its 1.75 petaflop predecessor.
“Digital technologies are among the most important instruments to further expand our research and development capabilities,” said Dr. Melanie Maas-Brunner, member of the Board of Executive Directors and Chief Technology Officer of BASF. As one example, she noted that above-average computing power is required these days to work out the most promising polymer structures from thousands of possibilities.
“Over the past five years, we have worked very successfully worldwide with our supercomputer Quriosity. It enabled us to considerably shorten the development time for innovative molecules and chemical compounds and thus accelerate the market launch of new products,” Maas-Brunner said. “But the computing capacity was no longer sufficient. Moreover, the complexity of our research projects and thus the demands on the supercomputer have increased. We therefore decided to invest in a new high-performance computer.”
The new supercomputer was manufactured by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and works with AMD processors (CPUs). It has an innovative cooling concept based on warm-water cooling. The system absorbs the heat directly where it is generated in the supercomputer and transports it away, which significantly reduces the energy required and therefore the operating costs. The new BASF supercomputer, named Quriosity like its predecessor, is the world’s largest supercomputer used in industrial chemical research. The previous supercomputer will be refurbished by HPE, with a recovery rate of more than 95 percent.
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