Lenovo scores deal to build supercomputer at UK's Hartree Center

Liquid cooled, 44.7 Petaflops and with unspecified GPUs

The UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has picked Lenovo to build and install a 44.7-Petaflops liquid cooled supercomputer.

The ThinkSystem will reside at the agency's Hartree Center in Daresbury, about a half hour drive outside of Liverpool, where it will "power AI research for UK industry," according to a Lenovoannouncement released on Tuesday.

Lenovo declared the new supercomputer will be "strategically positioned to contribute to discovery-led industrial research, focusing on solutions to global challenges in areas such as: weather and climate modelling, cleaner energy initiatives, drug discover, health technologies, new materials, automotive advancements and legal applications."

Construction of a £30 million ($37.8 million) facility that will house the Lenovo supercomputer began last February.

The system is billed as being ten times more powerful than the Hartree Center's Scafell Pike system, yet requires less energy thanks to a direct warm water cooling system using Lenovo's Neptune technology.

Lenovo revealed the HPC will be GPU-based, but did not provide any further details.

A 1U Lenovo Neptune The Reg spied at 2022's Supercomputing Conference was configured with dual AMD Genoa CPUS and four Nvidia H100 GPUs. Systems like Lenovo's 3U SR675 V3 also employ Neptune cooling and can hold four H100s with 4x NVLink connected SXM5 GPUs.

Scafell Pike also uses liquid cooling. The BullSquana X1000 system contains 24,960 Intel Skylake cores and "tightly coupled Intel and Nvidia architectures."

The Hartree Centre is the UK's only – or, depending which organization is speaking, one of the UK's only – supercomputing center dedicated to industry engagement. The Lenovo supercomputer will become a part of the center's £210 million ($265 million) Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation (HNCDI) program, which supports businesses and public sector orgs that want to upskill and adopt AI.

The program is already supported by IBM. ®

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