AMD virtual tour takes us inside Europe's Hawk supercomputer

The machine is considered to be the continent's fastest general-purpose supercomputer for scientific research

AMD has provided us with a rare glimpse of the inside of a supercomputer facility at the University of Stuttgart, complete with a 360-degree virtual tour.

The 'Hawk' supercomputer is located at the High-Performance Computing Centre Stuttgart (HLRS) in Germany, and is considered the fastest general-purpose system for scientific and industrial computing in Europe.

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The virtual tour takes viewers inside the facility giving a detailed look at its technical makeup, the video for which is below.

The tour also includes an interview with Dr Bastian Koller, the managing director of HLRS, who explains the system and its applications.

"It will provide around 25 petaflops of compute power," he said. "It consists of 44 racks, provided by more than 5,600 compute nodes, which themselves, sum up to over 720,000 compute cores based on AMD's 2nd Gen EPYC processors.

"In AMD, we found a good partner, which goes beyond just buying simple hardware bits, but being able to address the challenges and the problems of our customers in the best possible way. Which is providing us with the best technology at this point in time."

The Hawk computer is an Apollo System from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and is designed to advance applications in energy, climate, mobility and health. Its peak performance of 26 petaflops equates to 26 quadrillion floating-point operations per second. You would have to perform one calculation every second for 31,688,765 years to match just one petaflop of compute power.

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With the Hawk supercomputer, scientist and engineers can conduct research on much larger and more complex subjects with the support of data-intensive workflows that combine AI, big data, deep learning and simulation.

The machine was inaugurated in February and replaced HLRS's previous flagship system, Hazel Hen, offering a 3.5-fold increase in speed over its predecessor.

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