CINECA – Consorzio Interuniversitario

CINECA, established in 1969, is a non-profit consortium of 70 Italian Universities, the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics (OGS), the National Research Council (CNR), and the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR). CINECA is the largest Italian supercomputing centre with an HPC environment equipped with cutting-edge technology and highly-qualified personnel which cooperates with researchers in the use of the HPC infrastructure, in both the academic and industrial fields. CINECA’s mission is to enable researchers to use HPC systems in a profitable way, exploiting the newest technology advances in HPC.

CINECA represents Italy in PRACE and is one of the four PRACE Tier-0 Hosting Centers:

  • Tier-0 MARCONI an hybrid Linux cluster (1512 nodes Intel Broadwell – 2 X 18 cores/node at 2.3 GHz -, peak performance in excess of 2 PFlops; 3600 nodes Intel KNL system – up to 72 cores/node -, peak performance in the order of 11 PFlops; 1512 nodes Intel Skylake system (expected in production in June 2017), this system will be integrated with the KNL system to reach a global performance of 17 PFlops. The associated storage capacity will also be upgraded in excess of 20 PBytes.
  • Tier-1 GALILEO an hybrid Linux cluster (8192 cores Intel Haswell with 26 TB RAM and 760 Intel Xeon Phi 7120P accelerators with a peak performance of 1 PFlops).
  • PICO Big Data HPC System equipped with 50 TBytes of SSD memory and several Peta Bytes of high performance disk storage integrates the HPC systems. The CINECA data centre is equipped to provide business continuity technology. A virtual theatre, where viewers can make a semi-immersive virtual reality experience, completes the entire infrastructure.

Besides the national scientific HPC facility CINECA manages and exploits the supercomputing facility of the Italian Energy company (ENI), an integrated HPC facility with more than 80.000 cores. Some of the most important Italian industries (e.g. ENI, Dompè, Unipol, Lamborghini, etc.) use CINECA’s HPC facilities.

The SCAI Department in CINECA has a long experience in cooperating with the researchers in parallelising, enabling and scaling up their applications in different computational disciplines, covering condensed matter physics, astrophysics, geophysics, chemistry, earth sciences, engineering, CFD, mathematics and bioinformatics, but also “non-traditional” ones, such as biomedicine, archaeology and data-analytics. CINECA has a wide experience in providing education and training in the different fields of parallel computing and computational sciences and is one of the six PRACE Advanced Training Centers (PATCs).

CINECA will leverage the extensive knowledge and expertise on operating HPC infrastructures applying it to PRACE-5IP by serving as WP6 leader. CINECA will actively contribute also to sustaining and developing the RI (WP2), communication and dissemination (WP3), training activities, coordinating one of the PATCs (WP4), HPC commissioning and prototyping (WP5), applications enabling and support (WP7).

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