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Ghent University engages Atos to build third Tier1 VSC supercomputer supporting research in Flanders


Paris, France; Ghent, Belgium – 24 June 2020

Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, announces that it has signed a 6-year contract for a value of over 10 Million Euro with Ghent University (UGent) to deliver the next Tier1 supercomputer for the Flemish Supercomputer Center VSC. This supercomputer will help researchers from academic research institutions, government and industry to speed up time-consuming calculations and solve complex computational problems: from modeling weather and climate change to supporting the development of renewable energy and accelerating the search for new medicine. Most significantly, supercomputers have recently been instrumental in research combatting COVID-19, including in Flanders.

Antoine Kerrinckx, CEO at Atos in Belux: “Technology is becoming increasingly important in our society. We think it’s important that researchers have the right tools and infrastructure at their disposal. We are delighted to contribute to the progress of science and technology with the delivery of our Atos supercomputer.”

Atos will equip the new Tier1 supercomputer with BullSequana XH2000 technology and its BullSequana X Supercomputer Suite as the software stack. This advanced software environment for High Performance Computing and AI will enable end-users to develop and run the vital software codes that are used throughout the diverse research and development fields within the VSC, such as materials design, engineering, weather/climate modeling and bioinformatics.

This will be the third Tier1 supercomputer that the VSC installs in Flanders. The first one ‘muk’ was installed at Ghent University in 2012, succeeded by ‘BrENIAC’ at KU Leuven in 2016. Now, in 2020, a new Tier1 supercomputer will again be installed at the Ghent University infrastructure hub of the Flemish Supercomputer Center VSC. The VSC is a partnership between the five Flemish universities and is managed by the Research Fund – Flanders (FWO). VSC encourages the use of scientific and technical computing in the Flemish academic and industrial landscape, offering dedicated infrastructure, training and services. Funding is provided by the Flemish government, department of Economy, Science and Innovation.

Hilde Crevits, Flemish Minister for Economy, Science and Innovation said: “One of the things that the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly exemplified is that state-of-the-art infrastructure, including supercomputers, are crucial to enable strong research and development in Flanders. I am proud that our continuous infrastructure investments help advance Flemish pioneering capabilities in R&D.”

The new supercomputer is scheduled for delivery at Ghent University in Q4 2020. A further expansion of this system is planned for 2022.


Technical details

The configuration consists of five racks with the following elements:
• 98 BullSequana X2410 blades (294 nodes), each node equipped with the AMD Rome 7H12 CPUs and 256GB of RAM (16GB*16@3200MHz dims)
• 14 BullSequana X2410 blades (42 nodes), each node equipped with the AMD Rome 7H12 CPUs and 512GB of RAM (32GB*16@3200MHz dims)
• 20 BullSequana X2415 blades equipped with the new Nvidia RedStone board embedding the Nvidia A100-40 GPUs (x4)
• DDN multi-tier EXAScaler solution with a Hybrid ES7990X and all flash SFA200NVX to deliver over 100 TB of accelerated flash performance and 4 PB of long term storage.

About Atos
Atos is a global leader in digital transformation with 110,000 employees in 73 countries and annual revenue of € 12 billion. European number one in Cloud, Cybersecurity and High-Performance Computing, the Group provides end-to-end Orchestrated Hybrid Cloud, Big Data, Business Applications and Digital Workplace solutions. The Group is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic & Paralympic Games and operates under the brands Atos, Atos|Syntel, and Unify. Atos is a SE (Societas Europaea), listed on the CAC40 Paris stock index.

The purpose of Atos is to help design the future of the information space. Its expertise and services support the development of knowledge, education and research in a multicultural approach and contribute to the development of scientific and technological excellence. Across the world, the Group enables its customers and employees, and members of societies at large to live, work and develop sustainably, in a safe and secure information space.

Press contacts Atos:
Benelux: Lise Kleijn | [email protected] | +31 6 831 69 358 |
Global: Laura Fau | [email protected] | +33 6 73 64 04 18 | @laurajanefau

About VSC
The Flemish Supercomputer Center (Vlaams Supercomputer Centrum – VSC) is a partnership between the five Flemish universities and their university associations. This consortium brings together knowhow in scientific and technical computing (including high performance computing, high throughput computing, cloud computing and data processing) in Flanders, and houses infrastructure in four hubs: the datacenters of the universities of Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent and Leuven. The VSC is managed by the Research Fund – Flanders (FWO).

The VSC encourages the use of scientific and technical computing in the Flemish academic and industrial landscape. To this end, it offers infrastructure, training and services. In addition, VSC acts as a lever to promote the importance of scientific and technical computing and its added value to society.

Press contact Ghent University:
Ewald Pauwels | [email protected] | +32 9 264 4716 |


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