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Technical DataSheet Supercomputer SKIF-AURORA-SUSU

Technical Info Supercomputer SKIF-AURORA-SUSU

  • Performance: 
    24 TFLOPS (Peak) / 21.86 TFLOPS (LINPACK)
  • Nodes / Сores (CPU + CoCPU) / Threads (CPU + CoCPU): 
    256 / 2048 / 4096
  • CPU: 
    Intel® Xeon® X5570 (4 cores, 2.93 GHz)
  • Coprocessor: 
    Programmable FPGA-accelerators per each node
  • Total RAM of the nodes: 
    3 TB (DDR3)
  • Total disk storage of the nodes: 
    60 TB, Solid State Drives Intel® SSD
  • Interconnect: 
    System Interconnect: 3D-Thorus, 60 Gb/s; Service network: InfiniBand QDR, 40 Gb/s
  • Service network: 
    3x 1GigE independent sensor and control networks, incl. SKIF-Servnet v.4
  • Occupied Area: 
    3.00 м.кв. (32.29 sq. ft.)

SKIF-Aurora SUSU is the first world's supercomputer based on Intel® Xeon® 5500 series processors and highly efficient liquid cooling with a number of unique Russian global-level innovations.

On early testing stages, the SKIF-Aurora SUSU supercomputer:

  • Entered Тор50 list on the 8th position of 50th most powerful CIS supercomputers in 12th edition of the list published on March 30th, 2010. Maximum Linpack performance of SKIF-Aurora SUSU supercomputer – 21.86 teraflops, peak performance – 24 teraflops.
  • Has demonstrated high computing efficiency with actual industrial workloads of SUSU data center with performance of many tasks increasing by more than 3 times as compared to previously used SKIF Urals cluster.
  • In April 2010 support of 6-core Intel Xeon 5600 series processors was added to SKIF Aurora enabling increasing performance by 1.7 times in the same form factor.

SKIF Aurora — a unique supercomputer platform based on Russian know-how

SKIF Aurora supercomputer platform that was used for SKIF Aurora SUSU complex has excellent performance, very high computing density, improved reliability and manageability. Noise and vibration are eliminated by liquid cooling of all computing components and usage of Intel SSD drives. With such green design SKIF Aurora demonstrates industry best energy efficiency ensuring average power cost reduction up to 60% as compared to other solutions.

Liquid cooling is currently the most innovative and efficient cooling method in supercomputer industry. It enables creation of ultra high density computing systems with reduced power consumption that are almost noiseless and have no vibration being more reliable. This cooling system was used in SKIF-Aurora SUSU – the first world's supercomputer based on Intel® Xeon® (5500 series) processors and highly efficient liquid cooling with a number of unique Russian global-level innovations.

SKIF Aurora supercomputer platform has the following unique features:

  • Innovative cooling technology solution, industry best energy efficiency – green design:
    • Reduction of average annual power costs.
    • Using climate zone specifics  — free cooling.
  • Maximum computing density for a standard architecture:
    • Highest computing density in supercomputer industry with standard x86 processors – over 10 CPUs in 1U.
    • 6-core Intel Xeon 5600 series processors enable the highest performance – over 40 teraflops per rack.
    • Space requirements reduction by at least two times as compared to other solutions.
    • The most compact 1 petaflops (1000 teraflops - a quintillion (thousand trillions) floating point operations per seconds) supercomputer in the world can be created with 25 SKIF-Aurora racks (power consumption – 2.84 MW).
  • A unique system network with 3D toroid topology developed in Russia:
    • System bandwidth increased to 60 GB/s, which is 1.5 times better than that of any other available solutions.
    • Highest system network scalability  — it is possible to create a 3 petaflops supercomputer with current solutions.
    • Hardware support of some MPI operations in the system network.
    • It is possible to support not just MPI, but also new promising approaches to parallel computing implementation.
  • Full compatibility with existing standard software combined with support of FPGA accelerators installed in every computing node:
    • Full compatibility with x86 supercomputer software, support of all supercomputer applications of SKIF and SKIF-GRID program and popular supercomputer applications of other developers.
    • All performance characteristics of SKIF Aurora supercomputers are provided for standard processors without active FPGA accelerators. Improvement of accelerator code made it possible to triple actual performance of SKIF Aurora supercomputers for some application.
    • SKIF Aurora software supports use of FPGA accelerators.
  • Highest reliability and redundancy of supercomputers:
    • No moving mechanical parts in the computing node. No vibration.
    • Simple and reliable power and cooling systems.  Redundancy of all important nodes.
    • High refrigerant heat capacity — equipment protection from heat impact.
    • A unique sensory and control network SKIF-Servnet v.4 developed in Russia.  Three independent supercomputer monitoring and control systems.
    • Support of hot swap mode for modules and nodes.
  • Efficient power supply system safe for staff and equipment.
  • Improved ergonomic and aesthetic characteristics:
    • Noise-free system.  Staff can comfortably stay in the machine room without hearing protection appliances for a long time.
    • Fingertip control with sensory LCD panels.
  • Based on broad cooperation of Russian developers strengthened by collaboration with Western partners.

Project information

South Ural State University
Established in 1943, South Ural State University traditionally ranks among TOP10 Russian universities. SUSU is the largest academic institution by the number of undergraduates in the Russian Federation, as around 56 thousand students study there. 
Project Dates:
November 2009 - May 2010
Project Location:
Chelyabinsk, Russia


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