Supercomputers & Facilities

BSC-CNS hosts MareNostrum, the most powerful supercomputer in Spain. From the new upgrade on July 2017, MareNostrum has a peak performance of 13,7 Petaflops.

MareNostrum 4 has two distinct parts: The general-purpose block has 48 racks with 3,456 nodes. Each node has two Intel Xeon Platinum chips, each with 24 processors, amounting to a total of 165,888 processors and a main memory of 390 Terabytes. Its peak power is 11.15 Petaflops, or what is the same, it is able to perform more than eleven thousand trillion operations per second, ten times more than the MareNostrum3, which was installed between 2012 and 2013.

Although its power is ten times greater than that of its predecessor, it only increases energy consumption by a 30% and now is of 1.3 MWatt/year.

Emerging technologies

The second element of MareNostrum 4 is formed of clusters of three different technologies that will be added and updated as they become available. These are technologies currently being developed in the US and Japan to accelerate the arrival of the new generation of pre-exascale supercomputers.

  • A cluster consists of IBM POWER9 processors and NVIDIA Tesla GPUs, which are the same components that IBM and NVIDIA will use for the Summit and Sierra supercomputers that the US Department of Energy has commissioned for the Oak Ridge and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. Computing power over 1.5 Petaflop/s.
  • A cluster made up of Intel Knights Hill (KNH) processors. They are the same processors that will be inside the Theta and Aurora supercomputers purchased by the US Department of Energy for the Argonne National Laboratory. Computing power in excess of 0.5 Petaflop/s.
  • A cluster formed of 64 bit ARMv8 processors in a prototype machine, using state-of-the-art technologies from the Japanese Post-K supercomputer. Computing power over 0.5 Petaflop/s.

The goal of the progressive incorporation of these emerging technologies into MareNostrum4 is to enable BSC to operate with what are expected to be some of the most state-of-the-art developments of the coming years and to test if they are suitable for future versions of MareNostrum.

Disc Storage

MareNostrum4 has a disk storage capacity of 14 Petabytes and is connected to the Big Data infrastructures of BSC-CNS, which have a total capacity of 24.6 Petabytes. Like its predecessors, MareNostrum4 is also connected to the network of European research centres and universities through the RedIris and Geant networks.

MareNostrum is managed by the Operations team, which takes care of its availability, security and performance. An important task of this team is to support scientists in the usage of MareNostrum, as well as to help them to improve their applications to get better research results.

Marenostrum is also part of the PRACE Resarch Infrastructure as one of the 7 Tier-0 Systems currently available for European scientists. Access to MareNostrum is possible through either Spanish Supercomputing Network RES: Application Form; or European programme PRACE: Application Guide.

These resources and expertise are not just available remotely. Both Spanish and European scientists can visit BSC-CNS through the available mobility programmes in order to work with our experts in supercomputing and learn more about how to improve their work and research results.

BSC also has other HPC resources available. You can find more information about MareNostrum and the other HPC supercomputers available at BSC via the following links: