The German Science Minister Markus Blume has signed off on the construction of a €260 million ($279m) supercomputing center.
First reported by EE News Europe, the high-performance computing (HPC) center will be located in Erlangen in the German state of Bavaria, and will be a sister facility to the existing HPC center in Leibniz. Both supercomputing centers are part of the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), which has now had over €1.5 billion ($1.61bn) of investment in supercomputers.
“This project of the century catapults FAU into the top league in terms of computing infrastructure and investments,” said Blume. “With the new high-performance data center in Erlangen, we get a second Bavarian IT heartbeat next to the Leibniz data center in Garching, and we are breaking new ground in data processing. Networking is the keyword here: all universities and all disciplines – from the humanities to quantum research – benefit from the new outstanding infrastructure.”
The federal and state government will cover the costs of hardware, operations, and personnel of network partners for the first 10 years. A timeline for the construction of the center, or its anticipated performance capability, have not yet been shared.
According to Building Minister Christian Bernreiter, the new supercomputing center will be integrated into “national supply and research structures” beyond just the FAU science department.
FAU president, Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger, said: “Top research is increasingly dependent on being able to process immense amounts of data at top speed – and this applies not only to engineering sciences, but also wherever artificial intelligence is used, whether in medicine, geosciences or certain humanities subjects. The new high-performance computing center will once again drastically catapult research performance at the science location in Northern Bavaria.”
FAU is also home to an Inspur and Megware research cluster named Alex. Built in 2021, the HPC has a theoretical peak performance of 6.08 petaflops.
Another research organization in Germany is getting a significant boost to its supercomputing capacity. In February 2023, Atos announced that it was building a €20m ($21.5m) supercomputer for the Max Planck Society (MPS). The HPC system is expected to triple MPS’ computational power.