Skip to content

France’s CEA acquires Arm-based supercomputer for nuclear simulations

November 9, 2018

The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) will deploy an Atos BullSequana X1310, featuring Marvell ThunderX2 Arm processors, for its Military Applications Division (CEA/DAM).

The system will be delivered later this year to the Île-de-France CEA/DAM center, located at Bruyères-le-Châtel. With France ceasing live nuclear tests 22 years ago, the agency will use the BullSequana to help model nuclear weapons systems, and nuclear decay.

The announcement comes just a day after the US Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory announced it had installed a Cray supercomputer with ThunderX2 Arm chips for its own classified nuclear workloads.

Atoms for Petaflops

The new supercomputer will feature 92 BullSequana X1310 blades, with three compute nodes per blade; each node features dual 32-core Marvell ThunderX2 processors at 2.2GHz, based on the Armv8-A instruction set, with 256GB of memory and Infiniband EDR interconnect.

The system is part of the Mont-Blanc 3 project, funded by the European Commission, which aims to assess the suitability of Arm-based clusters for exascale high performance computing (HPC), and help build out the necessary software ecosystem for an exascale system.

Read the full article >