History

Supercomputing

The computing history started with the procurement of an IBM 7090 system in 1961, one of the most powerful compute systems available at that time, with start of system operation in 1962. The installation of an IBM 360/91 system followed in 1969. In October 1979 the first vector system world-wide for basic research was installed, a Cray 1 system. This marked the evolvement of the vector technology which dominated supercomputing for nearly two decades with follow-up systems Cray XMP-24 in 1986 and Cray YMP-4 in 1991. After exploring the potential of massively parallel processing (MPP) systems with the first German nCUBE2/64 system in 1991, the transition from vector to MPP technology occurred in 1995 with a Cray T3D/128 system, followed by a Cray T3E/128 system in October 1996 which was upgraded to 816 PEs in Feb 1998. MPP based supercomputer technology was continued with an IBM Power4 based system with initial shipments in Oct 2001, and upgrades to 3.8 TFlop/s in 2002 and to 5.2 TFlop/s in 2003. The Power4 nodes were connected by an HPS "Federation Switch" as a fast communication network. RZG also hosted a 86-node IBM Power5-based p575 cluster. In September 2007, the worldwide first IBM Blue Gene/P system (2 racks) was installed and extended to four racks in 2008, with a peak performance of 56  TFlop/s. In spring 2008 an IBM Power6-based p575 system was installed with 125 TFlop/s peak. An IBM iDataPlex system with Intel Sandy Bridge processors was installed in 2012 and upgraded with Ivy Bridge processors and NVIDIA Kepler GPUs in 2013, with an aggregated peak performance of 2.8 PetaFlop/s. The current supercomputer was installed in 2018 based on Intel SkyLake processors, OmniPath interconnect and a peak performance of 9.7 PetaFlop/s.

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