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Supercomputer Piz Daint is a world leader

19 June 2017 | updated 19 June 2017

Zurich/Lugano – Following an extensive hardware upgrade, the Swiss supercomputer Piz Daint has been named the most powerful mainframe computer outside Asia. The ETH invested around CHF 40 million in its upgrade last year.

The Piz Daint supercomputer at the National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Lugano has been the most powerful supercomputer in Europe since 2013. At the end of 2016, an extensive hardware upgrade tripled its performance.

Now, with a theoretical peak performance of 25.3 petaflops, the supercomputer is the fastest outside Asia. The news was confirmed during the ISC High Performance event in Frankfurt on Monday, revealed the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) in a statement.  

Last year, the ETH invested CHF 40 million in Piz Daint’s expansion. The computer’s sophisticated system is particularly key for use in high-resolution simulations and the data science field, which analyses huge amounts of data and is one of the university’s strategic focus areas.   

Materials science, geophysics, life sciences and climate research also work with computer- and data-intensive simulations. Thanks to the upgrade, researchers will be able to conduct simulations, data analyses and visualisations more efficiently and realistically.

According to the ETH, Piz Daint is also an important element in international research collaborations. Since the spring, the CSCS has been a main provider of computing power in the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE), which also benefits Swiss researchers. CSCS’s participation in PRACE gives them access to various other European supercomputers.