Total boosts Linux Pangea supercomputer with 4.4 petaflops of compute power

Oil and gas giant Total has chosen SGI to upgrade its supercomputer, adding 4.4 petaflops of compute power to assist in exploration and production of resources.

The company launched the high performance computing (HPC) platform in 2013, dubbed Pangea, which runs on Linux Enterprise Server. Built on SGI’s ICE X technology, it was claimed that the 2.3 petaflop supercomputer was one of the most powerful in the world, housing over 110,000 cores, using Intel Xeon E5-2600 processors.

The upgrade announced today will add a further 4.4 petaflops of compute due to the latest ICE X system, which uses the most recent version of Intel’s E5-2600 chips, launched in September. It will also feature another 9.2 petabytes of storage, with a total of 589 terabytes of memory built across 8 M-Cells.

The HPC, located at Total’s Jean Feger Scientific and Technical Centre in Pau, France, will use closed-loop airflow and warm-water cooling to lower overall cooling requirements. Once fully upgraded, the system will use 4.5 megawatts of power.

According to SGI, the update would place Pangea in the top 10 most powerful supercomputers in the world, according to the latest TOP500 list, published in November.

This will help the company process data to create analytic models to identify of underground deposits of oil and gas, developing three-dimensional visualisations of seismic landscapes for exploration.

“Oil and gas companies have faced increasing difficulty in the discovery and extraction of new oil and gas reserves in recent years, making HPC technology a crucial tool for organisations in this industry, ” said Jorge Titinger, president and CEO, SGI.

SGI recently announced that another of its long-standing customers - the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment, responsible for the Trident nuclear programme - would be upgrading its HPC with  two SGI ICE XA systems, consisting of compute nodes feature the Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors, capable of running complex workloads at petaflop speeds.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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