Technology: Inaugurated most powerful supercomputer in Southern Italy


ENEA has inaugurated in its Portici Research Center, near Naples, the supercomputer CRESCO6, the most powerful computing infrastructure in Southern Italy, which plays a very important role in the whole Italian scientific scenario thanks to a computational capacity of 700 thousand billions of mathematical operations per second (700TeraFlops). Professor Jack Dongarra at the University of Tennessee, one of the world's leading supercomputing experts, also attended the inauguration.

"With CRESCO6 we aim to become a point of reference in Italy for public institutions, universities and companies with a high technological content, providing the latest generation simulation and modeling tools to support research and development", Silvio Migliori, Head of the ENEA Division “Development of Information Systems and ICT" pointed out

"Thanks to a calculation power 7 times higher than the previous versions, we’ll be able to process in just a few weeks data which previously required a year’s work, such as predictive models for the study of climate change and air pollution forecasts. with a very accurate territorial detail", Giovanni Bracco, Head of the ENEA Laboratory "Scientific Computing Infrastructures, continued ".

In addition to climate and air quality, there are many other areas of application, ranging from the study of new materials for the production of clean energy to simulations for the management of critical infrastructures, from biotechnologies to computational chemistry, from fluid dynamics for the aerospace sector to the development of nuclear fusion codes.

Born out of a partnership between ENEA and CINECA, the largest computing center in Italy, CRESCO6 will be joined by two other supercomputers of the Agency (of about 125 total TeraFLOPS) already installed and in operation  at the ENEA Portici Research Center.

The new supercomputing system is part of the strategic actions envisaged by ENEA's 2018-2020 development plan aimed at confirming its position among the major national actors of the High Performance Computing (HPC). "The goal now is to complete the infrastructure with a 10 Gb /s network connection and to strenghten big data processing activities in the energy, sustainable mobility, smart city and cultural heritage protection sectors, as well as  guaranteeing our participation in centers of excellence at the international level, such as the Energy oriented Center of Excellence for Computing Applications (EoCoE), of which ENEA is a partner ", Massimo Celino, ENEA expert in computational materials science, said.

The EoCoE is one of the eight European centers of excellence for supercomputing applications funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program with the objective of ensuring European positioning in HPC and accelerating the energy transition towards a low-carbon economy in strategic sectors such as new materials, climate change, research on nuclear fusion, water management and development of new numerical models, which can exploit the growing computational power of HPC infrastructures such as CRESCO6.

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