05/04/2011 14:43:00
Inauguration of ‘Datura’ - the new high-performance computer at the Albert Einstein Institute in Potsdam, Germany

‘Datura’s’ huge computing power will be used to simulate collisions of black holes and neutron stars

Düsseldorf, 5. April 2011 – Today Mrs. Prof. Dr. Sabine Kunst, the Minister of Science of the State of Brandenburg, will inaugurate the new high-performance-computer ‘Datura’ of the renowned Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) in Potsdam. The inauguration will take place during a symposium about “German High Performance Computing in the new Decade“. The new high-performance-computer is based on the LX-product-series of the NEC Deutschland GmbH, and will provide new opportunities to the demanding research of the Albert Einstein Institute.

The new high-performance-computer’s huge computing power will be used to simulate collisions of black holes and neutron stars. It has 2,400 processors in 200 servers, 4.8 TeraByte of memory and a maximum compute-performance of 25.5 TeraFlops. This equates to 25,500 billion operations per second.

With the help of the new system the scientists of the Numerical Relativity Group can now execute much more detailed computations and expect to detect new phenomena that way. Recently the group of Prof. Dr. Luciano Rezolla was internationally recognized for its simulations of the deceleration of black holes and the merging of neutron stars. These results are important for the international community of scientists dealing with gravitational waves, who can now search their detector data for such signals based on the calculations of the AEI.

The new high-performance computer will be able to carry out such simulations two to three times faster than before, enabling long simulations allowing the discovery of new phenomena.

“By studying the behaviour of neutron stars and black holes for a longer period of time in our ‘virtual laboratory’ we expect to find new phenomena”, said Prof. Luciano Rezzolla, the head of the Numerical Relativity Group. “Moreover we will be able to produce even more precise predictions for the characteristic forms of gravitational wave signals, because we can model the motion of these in-spiralling neutron stars and black holes for a longer period of time.”

Prof. Luciano Rezzolla says: “NEC Deutschland was successful in the competitive international procurement and during the selection and testing phase it has become clear that we made the right choice. The scientists could often get valuable hints about software optimisation from the knowledgeable NEC analysts.”

The inauguration of the high-performance computer will be the highlight of a scientific symposium on “German High Performance Computing in the new Decade”, which the AEI will organise on April 5th 2011. Members of several scientific institutes from Brandenburg and Berlin will meet to exchange the latest information on applications, management and future strategies in the field of supercomputing.

Different to the classical vector-computers of NEC, the SX-series, the LX-series is based on standard components and Open-Source-software. NEC is specializing in enhancing the efficiency of the components of such clusters. The LX-series is designed to meet the requirements of different tasks in industry and science, and is specifically configured and customized by NEC for each individual project.

About the Albert Einstein Institute in Potsdam

The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam was founded in 1995. The research covers all aspects of General Relativity and Gravitation, spanning the scales from cosmology down to the smallest scales of string theory. In the beginning of 2002 an experimental branch was added, a new institute was founded in Hannover to operate the gravitational wave detector, GEO600, in Ruthe, a British-German cooperation. This institute is also leading the development of the planned laser-interferometer LISA. The scientists want to measure those small waves of space-time as they are generated by collisions of neutron stars or black holes, or by the core-collapse of a supernova. The numerical results about these signals, as they will be calculated with the new cluster, are very important for these experiments, they are the connection between the theory and the experiment.

About NEC Deutschland GmbH

NEC Deutschland GmbH, formed in 1987 with its head office in Düsseldorf, Germany, is a wholly owned subsidiary of NEC Europe Ltd. As a part of the globally operating NEC Corporation in Tokyo, Japan, NEC Deutschland is marketing innovative High-Tech-products, which result from a solid global R&D-background. Its product portfolio encompasses high-performance computing systems for scientific applications, complete solutions for data-management and –processing, telecommunication-systems and general IT-solutions, as well as biometric security solutions for enterprises and public institutions. NEC Deutschland is focussing on the realisation of customized complete solutions which include superior services. Further information is available on the Internet at www.nec.com/de

About NEC Europe Ltd.

NEC Europe is a subsidiary of NEC Corporation, a leader in the integration of IT network technologies that benefit businesses and people around the world. NEC Europe is building upon its heritage and reputation for innovation and quality by providing its expertise, solutions and services to a broad range of customers, from telecom operators to enterprises and the public sector. For additional information, please visit the NEC Europe home page at: www.nec.com/eu


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