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Jülich World Leader in Supercomputing

[28. Juni 2006]

Jülich, 28 June 2006 - The fastest supercomputer in the world for free research is in Forschungszentrum Jülich. Out of the 500 fastest supercomputers worldwide, including those used for military, industrial and technical purposes, Jülich Blue Gene (JUBL) is ranked 8th, and in Europe, it holds 2nd place. This information is taken from the TOP500 list published today, which appears every six months and lists the fastest supercomputers in the world.

"Jülich is an ideal location for a supercomputer for many reasons: world-class research is carried out here on a broad scientific basis, at the same time there are also scientists here who can operate supercomputers, and because of its long-standing tradition in the field of supercomputing, Jülich possesses the requisite infrastructure. This type of situation is hard to come by", says Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee. He is the leading expert in the field of supercomputing, and among other things, is an advisor to the American government. Together with Hans Meuer (University of Mannheim), Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon (both Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory), he has been compiling and editing the TOP500 list for over 12 years. Over a period of a few days last week, Dongarra had a closer look at the situation in Forschungszentrum Jülich.

The Jülich supercomputer was put into operation in March 2006. It boasts almost 46 teraflops and is a blue gene computer manufactured by IBM. "These machines are by far the most cost effective at the moment", says Dongarra, taking into account the often considerable operating costs which arise from cooling the supercomputers. Measured in gigaflops per watt, the Blue Gene line of processors can carry out eight times the number of calculation processes than others. Nine of the twenty fastest supercomputers are Blue Gene computers.

Seventeen German institutions have made it into the current TOP500 list, including HLRZ in Stuttgart (9.2 teraflops) in 48th place and Adam Opel AG with 5.5 teraflops, which was ranked 95th. Jülich's second supercomputer, JUMP, made it to 86th place with its 8.9 teraflops. Two of the three fastest computers in Germany are therefore in Jülich.

Amongst the ten fastest supercomputers, five are used for military purposes, another three for specific research purposes (e.g. space travel and climate) and one in industry (IBM).

Simulations using supercomputers has been the third pillar of research across all of the sciences, alongside theory and experiment, for many years. This is how for example, sophisticated, virtually impossible or extremely dangerous experiments can still be explored.

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Press contact:

Kosta Schinarakis
Science Journalist
Research Centre Jülich, 52425 Jülich
Tel. +49 2461 61-4771, Fax +49 2461 61-4666