French energy giant to use supercomputer for exploration

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French energy giant to use supercomputer for exploration

Peta-flops processing prowess.

French energy giant Total will put a new supercomputer to work for oil and gas exploration.

The company expects to see a tenfold performance increase for three-dimensional seismic landscape visualisation.

Pangea was built for Total by SGI and provides a total of 2.3 peta-FLOP/s putting it at ninth place on the global TOP 500 list of supercomputers.

It will cost 60 million euro (A$73.6 million) over four years and was formally inaugurated on March 22 after being commissioned in January this year.

The supercomputer is based on 288 blades with four Intel 32-core Xeon E5-2670 processors. It has a total of 110,592 cores and 442 terabytes of memory, as well as 17,000 disk arrays that provide up to seven petabytes of managed storage.

To deal with the heat from the system that has a total of 2.8 mega Watt energy consumption, Pangea uses SGI's ICE-X M-Cell cooling solution that features a closed loop airflow and warm water for embedded hot-aisle containment.

Source: Total

The supercomputer will be housed in the Total Jean Feger Scientific and Computing Centre in Pau, France.

Pangea is thought to be the world's most powerful supercomputer operated by private interests. It outperforms the Cray XE6 Hermit supercomputer based on AMD Opteron 6276 processors in Stuttgart, Germany, which provides a theoretical maximum performance of 1,049 tera-FLOP/s.

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