First supercomputer to operate in Portugal
The Minho Advanced Computing Center (MACC) was inaugurated early July, marking the beginning of operations of the first supercomputer in Portugal, named BOB. The presentation session at the Riba d'Ave Data Center, in Minho, was attended by the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, and the Deputy General Coordinator of INCoDe.2030, Nuno Feixa Rodrigues.
The inauguration of the supercomputer, as part of the National Digital Competences Initiative - INCoDE.2030, is part of the Iberian Advanced Computing Network (RICA), the start of the national participation in the European EuroHPC - European High-Performance Computing initiative, and is the result of a collaboration with REN and NOS.
It is intended that the supercomputer will be mainly powered by renewable energy sources, namely wind, photovoltaic and hydroelectric power. It has a memory capacity of 266TBytes, 1PByte of storage capacity, 1 PFlop of calculation performance, and includes a total of 800 compute nodes.
The creation of MACC was formalized in November 2017, with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), the University of Texas at Austin (UTAustin) and the University of Minho (UMinho). The supercomputer being installed is a Stampede 1 Advanced Computing infrastructure, provided to FCT by UTAustin's Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), as part of an international partnership between UTAustin and Portugal. The supercomputer increases national computing capacity 10-fold and encourages new forms of cooperation between the scientific and business communities in the emerging fields of data science and artificial intelligence.
This is one of the examples of initiatives aligned with INCoDe.2030 Action Line 5 - Research, which is also part of the preparation of the National Advanced Computing Strategy, Advanced Computing Portugal 2030.
At the inauguration session two collaboration protocols with FCT were signed: with REN and NOS for the operation and use of BOB supercomputer, and with these companies and EDP, to promote the use of advanced computing in relevant areas for the economy.
By the end of 2020, a second machine called “Deucalion” is expected to be installed at MACC. This project was approved by the European Commission on June 12, under the Euro HPC initiative. Deucalion will be able to perform at least 10 PFlops, or 10,000 billion operations per second.