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AWE names its new supercomputer ‘Vulcan’ in honour of the RAF aircraft

Vulcan aircraft

AWE has awarded a contract to Cray to install a new supercomputer using their new Shasta computer architecture. The name Vulcan was chosen after a vote by staff who will be using the system.

Vulcan certainly packs a punch, featuring 5000 processors based upon 32-core, 2.9 GHz, second-generation AMD EPYC ‘Rome’ sockets, with a theoretical peak performance of 7.42 PetaFLOPs. It will connect with Cray’s new high-speed interconnect ‘Slingshot’, with storage provided via a Lustre-based Cray ClusterStor.

Short for floating-point operations per second, FLOPS is a measurement used to indicate how many floating point operations per second a microprocessor can perform. A petaFLOP is one quadrillion (1015) FLOPS.

An initial pilot system will be delivered later this year, with the main system arriving for installation early in 2020. Vulcan is expected to go into general production at the end of 2020.