BSC-CNS hosts MareNostrum, the most powerful supercomputer in Spain. In March 2004 the Spanish government and IBM signed an agreement to build one of the the fastest computer in Europe.

In November 2006 its capacity was increased due to the large demand of scientific projects. MareNostrum increased the calculation capacity until reaching 94.21 Teraflops (94.21 trillions of operations per second), doubling its previous capacity (42.35 Teraflops). It had 4.812 processors and afterwards it had 10.240 processors with a final calculation capacity of 94.21 Teraflops.

With the 2012-2013 upgrade, MareNostrum had a peak performance of 1,1 Petaflops, with 48,896 Intel Sandy Bridge processors in 3,056 nodes, including 84 Xeon Phi 5110P in 42 nodes, with more than 115 TB of main memory and 2 PB of GPFS disk storage.

From the new upgrade (in operation in the First of July of 2017), MareNostrum will have a peak performance of 13,7 Petaflops.

MareNostrum 4 will have two distinct parts: The general purpose block has 48 racks with 3,456 nodes of Intel Xeon Platinum processors for a total of 165,888 cores and a central 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.