When we think of the Nordics, we think of Vikings, IKEA, cinnamon buns, and sustainable data centers.

The 2021 DCD>Awards made it clear that we must also think of design innovation.

That the Nordics have been a key location for the data center industry is nothing new. They have frequently paved the way when it comes to issues like sustainability, and as demonstrated by CSC’s win of the Node Pole sponsored Data Center Design Innovation Award, high-performance computing.

With Node Pole itself based in Sweden, it is only appropriate that the award should also go to a fellow Nordic-based project: the LUMI supercomputer in Kajaani, Finland.

Jukka-Pekka Partanen, director of data center ecosystems for CSC told DCD, on winning the award: “Of course, it was our dream to succeed in this category because data design was our aim to make the home for the supercomputer beautiful and sustainable, and we managed to do it. I'm so happy.”

The supercomputer has been funded by several different nations, and is unique in its design, demonstrating the importance of a project being able to factor in modifications mid-project.

The HPC hardware and its specifications were only available midway through the design process meaning design and construction were conducted side by side. The configuration of the structure was not able to follow the traditional raised floor design, therefore the lower floor houses the power and cooling infrastructure and management, and the upper floor the IT hardware.

The resulting supercomputer has a performance of 550+ petaflops per second, the equivalent of 1.5 million modern laptops, all while maintaining a negative CO2 footprint as it is powered by renewables, and excess heat drawn off to local buildings.