You are here : Home > News > CCRT boosts industrial innovation with a petascale supercomputer from Bull

Press release | Industrial partnerships | Supercomputers | Simulation & modelling

CCRT boosts industrial innovation with a petascale supercomputer from Bull

​Paris, 4 February 2016 – Following a tender bid, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, CEA, and its industrial partners at the Centre for Computing Research and Technology, CCRT, have invested in a new petaflop supercomputer of ~1.4 Pflops, designed by Bull, the Atos brand for technology products and software. Three times more powerful than the current computer at CCRT, it will be installed in the CEA's Très Grand Centre de C​alcul (Very Large Computing Centre) in Bruyères-le-Châtel, France, mid-2016 to cover expanding industrial needs.

Published on 4 February 2016

​This new supercomputer, called COBALT, has a peak computing/performance capacity of ~1.4 Pflops, will be three times more powerful than the current computer and three times more energy efficient. A private storage system, external to the computer, with a storage capacity of 2.5 Pbytes[1] with a throughput of 60 GB/s shall enable users to store their data.

It shall have 2304 Intel® Xeon® E5 processors (Broadwell) with a total of 32,256 cores at 2.4 Ghz and 18 hybrid nodes with Nvidia Pascal processors, for remote computing and visualisation. The partition dedicated to the France Génomique[2] project shall in turn, be equipped with 4032 Intel® Xeon® E5 Broadwell cores at 2.4 Ghz and 4 very large memory nodes at 3TB/node. An InfiniBand EDR interconnect solution (100 GB/s vs. 40 GB/s currently) forms the core of this new computer and will allow it to increase capacity based on the needs of its partners for the coming 4 to 5 years.

The mandate of the CCRT is to support digital simulation development, particularly in the industrial world. Established in 2003, based on a unique partnership model in France, it has demonstrated its capacity to respond sustainably to the needs of industry partners. It offers a wide range of high performance computing (HPC) competencies, tailored to the growing needs of its partners, combining security and flexibility in its use of resources.

Teams from Airbus D&S, Areva, EDF, Herakles, Ineris, L'Oréal, Safran Tech, Snecma, Thales, Thales Alenia Space, Techspace Aero, Turbomeca, Valeo and CEA shall have the highest class computing resources at their disposal, necessary for developing their projects in the future. Research into the lifetime of power plants, the design and safety of nuclear reactors, the development of aircraft and helicopter engines, optimisation of car ventilation and air conditioning systems, the design of radar systems, environmental risk analyses, studying proteins and decoding the genome, predicting the performance of cosmetics or even the search for new materials are all areas in which numerical simulation is growing rapidly.

Philippe Vannier, Executive Vice President Big Data & Security at Atos concludes: “The renewed confidence of the CEA and CCRT in Bull technologies is something we are very proud of at Atos. This project is a new milestone accomplished within our exascale programme which aims to develop a new generation of supercomputers by 2020 capable of achieving performance levels in the order of exaflops, a billion billion calculations per second, while at the same time significantly reducing energy consumption.”


[1] 1 petabyte: a quadrillion bytes of memory.

[2] The CCRT hosts the data processing infrastructure of the France Génomique project. The latter groups together and pools the resources of the main French genome and bioinformatics platforms.

Top page