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New Netherlands National Supercomputer

  • NWO/NCF acquires high-end supercomputer for research in The Netherlands
  • SARA to host and house the new supercomputer
  • IBM to deliver Power-based supercomputer

SARA has announced to name the new system HUYGENS after two of the Netherlands most distinguished scientists: Constantijn Huygens and Christiaan Huygens. The system will be officially opened on June 13th 2007 at the Science Park Amsterdam (Turing room/Z011, Kruislaan 413, 1098 SJ Amsterdam).

More info about the launch event

Christiaan en Constantijn Huygens

The scope of the Dutch high-end computing ecosystem is a broad Science/Research grid in European and world wide context, supported by the world's most advanced WAN-network, SURFnet and enriched by major computing and storage resources as well as tools and support.     


Supercomputers can be defined as computing systems designed to minimize the time-to-solution for latency-bound compute applications. This means that not only the fastest processors, the fastest and biggest memories are involved but also the lowest-latency and highest bandwidth interconnects, to connect the various components into one seamless machine. This is where supercomputers differ from any other resources in the internet.

Over the years, NWO and NCF have invested in a variety of HPC systems to serve public scientific research in an efficient way. For HPC, this has meant a low-latency, large shared memory supercomputer to accommodate the most demanding applications on one side (capability computing) and compute clusters for high-throughput applications on the other side (capacity computing). Historically, the capability system ("supercomputer") has been in place since 1983. CDC Cyber205 and Cray YMP and C90 vector systems have been in place until 1999. Since 2000, a massively parallel system with large shared memory serves as the Dutch National Supercomputer: an SGI Origin3800 system with 1 Tflop/s peak performance and 1 TByte of shared memory in 2000, extended with an SGI Altix3700 system with 2.2 Tflop/s peak performance and almost 1 TByte of memory.
The new IBM Power-based system will ultimately perform 60.000 billion (miljard) floating-point operations ("calculations") per second and have 15.000 GBytes of memory. This will be the fastest computer in The Netherlands and one of the biggest systems in Europe.

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