A Pioneering Leap in Energy-Efficient Supercomputing Power

In a major stride toward more sustainable high-performance computing, the first module of Europe’s forthcoming exascale supercomputer, JUPITER, has secured the top ranking on the Green500 list of the world’s most energy-efficient supercomputers. The announcement was made on Thursday at the International Supercomputing Conference in Hamburg by officials from Forschungszentrum Jülich, the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking, and the ParTec-Eviden supercomputer consortium.

The JUPITER Exascale Development Instrument, nicknamed JEDI, achieved an unprecedented 72 billion floating-point operations per second per watt, surpassing the previous leader’s performance of around 65 billion. This remarkable feat underscores the growing importance of energy efficiency in an era of rapid digitalization and the increasing demands of artificial intelligence workloads.

“By using the dynamic Modular System Architecture (dMSA), the central European technology to build modular supercomputer and quantum computer, as well as ParaStation Modulo, the MSA-enabling software suite both developed by ParTec, JUPITER will achieve an outstanding level of computing power while decreasing the energy consumption. On top it will be by far the fastest AI-super computer at FP 16,” said Bernhard Frohwitter, CEO of ParTec AG.

The JEDI module, installed in April by the German-French consortium, shares the same hardware as the forthcoming JUPITER booster module, which is currently under construction at Forschungszentrum Jülich. This cutting-edge system harnesses the power of graphics processing units (GPUs) and the ability to optimize scientific applications for GPU calculations, a strategy employed by virtually all leading systems on the Green500 ranking due to GPUs’ superior energy efficiency compared to conventional central processing units (CPUs).

At the heart of JEDI’s exceptional performance lies the latest generation of accelerators from NVIDIA: the NVIDIA GH200 Grace Hopper Superchip, which integrates the NVIDIA Hopper GPU and the NVIDIA Grace CPU on a single module. Complementing this advanced hardware is Eviden’s BullSequana XH3000 architecture, featuring a highly efficient hot water cooling system called Direct Liquid Cooling, which requires significantly less energy than traditional air cooling and enables the reuse of generated heat downstream.

The JEDI development system serves as a precursor to the full-scale JUPITER supercomputer, allowing scientists to access the hardware early through the JUPITER Research and Early Access Program (JUREAP). With support from experts at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre, researchers can optimize their codes in preparation for the exascale era.

When fully operational in early 2025, JUPITER will be Europe’s first supercomputer to surpass the exascale threshold of one quintillion (1 followed by 18 zeros) floating-point operations per second. The final system, to be installed in stages in the second half of 2023, will comprise approximately 125 BullSequana XH3000 racks and around 24,000 NVIDIA GH200 Superchips, interconnected by NVIDIA Quantum-2 InfiniBand networking. For 8-bit calculations, commonly used in training AI models, JUPITER’s computing power is expected to exceed an astonishing 70 exaflops, potentially making it the world’s fastest computer for artificial intelligence workloads.

Despite its immense computational prowess, JUPITER’s average energy requirements are estimated to be around 11 megawatts. Further measures, such as housing the system in a modular data center designed to extract and reuse the heat generated during cooling for heating buildings on the Forschungszentrum Jülich campus, will contribute to its sustainable operation.

The JUPITER Management Stack, a unique combination of ParaStation Modulo (ParTec), SMC xScale (Atos/Eviden), and software components from the Jülich Supercomputing Centre, will be responsible for installing and managing all hardware and software components of the exascale system.

As the race for exascale computing intensifies globally, JUPITER’s remarkable energy efficiency and anticipated performance underscore Europe’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of scientific simulations and advancing artificial intelligence capabilities while prioritizing sustainability and responsible resource utilization.

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