Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today announced it has been awarded over $160 million to build a supercomputer called LUMI in Finland. LUMI will be funded by the European Joint Undertaking EuroHPC, a joint supercomputing collaboration between national governments and the European Union. The supercomputer will have a theoretical peak performance of more than 550 petaflops and is expected to best the RIKEN Center for Computational Science’s top-performing Fugaku petascale computer, which reached 415.5 petaflops in June 2020.

Powerful computers allow researchers to undertake high volumes of calculations in epidemiology, bioinformatics, and molecular modeling that might take months on traditional computing platforms (or years if done by hand). And because these computers are available in the cloud, they enable teams to collaborate from anywhere in the world. For instance, insights generated by the experiments can help advance our understanding of key aspects of COVID-19, such as viral-human interaction, viral structure and function, small molecule design, drug repurposing, and patient trajectory and outcomes.

HPE says that LUMI, which will be hosted at the Finnish IT Center for Science in Kajaani, Finland, will feature HPE Cray EX servers with AMD Epyc processors and AMD Instinct high-performance graphics cards. It will also use HPE’s Cray ClusterStor E1000 storage system and HPE Slingshot technology for networking, as well as liquid cooling capabilities to minimize electricity and water usage.

LUMI will be powered by hydroelectricity from Vattenfall, a European renewable energy company owned by the Swedish state. As previously announced, utility provider Loiste Lämpö will transfer a portion of the heat generated by LUMI to homes and commercial buildings in Kajaani.

When LUMI becomes available in mid-2021, it will be shared through a newly formed consortium that includes Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland. Before then, HPE says it plans to expand its supercomputing supply chain by manufacturing liquid-cooled Cray EX supercomputers and Apollo systems in its Kutná Hora factory within the Czech Republic. Alongside this, the company intends to establish a Center of Excellence to provide research and development tools and other high-performance computing solutions.

LUMI is the second system EuroHPC has contracted HPE to build, following the Euro_I4TI system for the IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Center in Ostrava that is expected to be the Czech Republic’s most powerful supercomputer. Yesterday, HPE revealed it would also deliver the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre for Western Australia’s $34 million supercomputer.