Researchers based the Barcelona Supercomputer Center, Spain, inaugurate the new European supercomputer MareNostrum 5. This is one of the most versatile machines in the world being used by the scientific community and the only one with two systems on the list of the 20 most powerful supercomputers on the planet.
MareNostrum 5 will advance science in all fields, including developing digital twins of Earth and the human body, searching for new treatments for diseases such as cancer, designing healthier and more sustainable cities, and searching for new energy sources and materials.
This supercomputer was made possible thanks to a total investment of 202 million euros, including 151.4 million euros for the acquisition of the machine, jointly financed by the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU), through the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility and the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and participating states: Spain, Turkey, and Portugal.
“We share the aim of making Barcelona a European scientific reference, for the benefit of Barcelona, Catalonia and the whole of Spain; because what is good for Barcelona and Catalonia is good for Spain and Europe. The BSC is a centre of excellence in the new knowledge economy that will generate hundreds of jobs directly and thousands indirectly, and will train the professionals of today and tomorrow”, stressed the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez.
“Catalonia today takes an unprecedented step forward with the MareNostrum 5, one of the major objectives of European strategic autonomy and of Catalonia’s economic and social future. Today, we are making available to Catalonia’s knowledge ecosystem a supercomputer with 4,500 chips, each with twice the power of the first supercomputer that was launched not yet 20 years ago. A potential that will be at the service of science, but also has a clear link with the citizens and with the needs of the present and the future”, said the President of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès.
MareNostrum 5 combines two distinct systems: a general-purpose partition, dedicated to classical computing, and an accelerated partition, designed to push the frontiers of knowledge in artificial intelligence. The computer is designed to provide researchers with the best technology available to answer the big questions in science. This includes, for example, producing climate change models with more accurate predictions, generating AI language models by training much larger neural networks with hundreds of billions of parameters and helping medical research in the design of new drugs, vaccine development, and simulations of virus propagation.
“Supercomputers are instruments at the service of science and engineering, accelerators of theory that allow the development of digital twins in very diverse and essential fields for society, such as climate change or precision medicine. We are very proud of the arrival of the new MareNostrum 5, one of the most important machines in Europe and the world to advance in the great challenges of science, such as the digital twin of the Earth, which we seek to develop as part of the Destination Earth project, one of Europe’s great bets to combat climate change; or human digital twins, which will serve to create more efficient drugs to treat diseases that are difficult to treat today, among others. The presentation of MareNostrum 5 paves the way for the next MareNostrum 6, which we hope will incorporate European technology, a milestone that could be a reality in 5- or 6-years’ time,” concluded BSC director Mateo Valero.