SuperMUC at Leibniz Supercomputing Centre


We all here at LRZ are very excited about our new baby which might become one of the biggest players: “SuperMUC”!


“MUC” stands for “Munich” as in “Munich Airport” which many of you will know; some may be from visiting the Oktoberfest - the other “Super” event in Munich this year. The first “Super” event for us in Munich is the inauguration of our new supercomputer “SuperMUC” this summer. With its about 150,000 processor cores it will overcome the PetaFlop/s hurdle at LRZ for the first time.


SuperMUC is based on IBM’s iDataPlex technology. It is completely built from standard X86 processors (Intel Sandy Bridge EP). Thus, it is a general purpose supercomputer exactly as the scientists served by LRZ need it for their research in astrophysics, computational fluid dynamics, chemistry, biology and earth science, to name but a few.


Scientists are eagerly waiting for SuperMUC to run. Geophysicists from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University here in Munich have their models well prepared to simulate the inner of the earth on a finer grain to understand better how the convections of heats and masses deep inside our planet influence the invisibly slow motion of continents, nearly always sliding silently but from time to time getting stuck and causing big disasters on the surface we all live.

Thus, SuperMUC will help to understand the world better and it might even help a little bit to make the world a better place. We are glad and proud to be a part of this!


But not only will SuperMUC deliver unprecedented compute power. It will also be one of the most energy efficient TOP500 systems. While it is not new to use liquid cooling or even water cooling for a computer, this will be the first supercomputer cooled with hot water that is much warmer than 40 degrees Celsius or 100 degrees Fahrenheit! A complete new cooling infrastructure had to be established at LRZ to make this possible. In addition, we will be using all of the features offered by Sandy Bridge EP to use middleware to minimize energy per solution.


LRZ has also been awarded the German Datacenter Prize 2012 in the category of Energy-Efficiency and Resource-Preservation honoring its work on energy-efficient HPC and datacenter infrastructure. SuperMUC is one example of projects including other HPC systems such as CoolMUC and SGI UV, with which LRZ explores new technologies such as adsorption machines, fine grain energy monitoring and energy-aware scheduling.


We will be glad to share more at ISC’12. And, ISC’12 will also be the place where we plan to unveil the secret of SuperMUC’s real performance! You may know that we expected IBM to deliver a peak performance of about 3 PetaFlop/s. But how fast is SuperMUC in reality? The numbers we see here at the lab these days are exciting! Wait for the ISC’12 to see the final numbers!


So, don’t hesitate to fire all your questions at me and my colleagues at ISC’12 regarding SuperMUC and particularly about the cooling issue, that we cleverly solved at LRZ. Let us tell you about how we save millions of euros with "hot" water cooling technology, while at the same time offering breathtaking compute power to scientists in Germany and Europe!  See you in Hamburg!


About the author:

Prof. Dr. Arndt Bode ( is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ, of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Garching near Munich, Germany.

« Go back

Platinum Sponsors

ISC Partner

Gold Sponsors