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Lenovo and STFC Hartree Centre Partners for High-Performance Supercomputer

Lenovo and STFC Hartree Centre Partners for High-Performance Supercomputer

The Science and Technology Facilities Council(STFC) has partnered with Lenovoto introduce a cutting-edge supercomputer at the STFC Hartree Centre; with a processing power ten times greater than its predecessor, this supercomputer boasts enhanced efficiency, courtesy of Lenovo’s direct water cooling technology. It promises to drive AI research within the UK industry.

As a vital component of the £210 million Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation (HNCDI) program, the supercomputer aims to give UK industries access to advanced digital technologies. Aligned with the broader AI Research Resource (AIRR) initiative, it underscores the commitment to bolstering digital innovation nationwide.

The supercomputer, scheduled for installation later this year, will be housed in the £30 million state-of-the-art supercomputing center currently under construction. This will further amplify the HNCDI’s endeavors in supercomputing and AI.

Also Read: Impact of Quantum Computing on Finance Sector

Improved Computing Power

The introduction of the Lenovo ThinkSystem Neptune marks a significant leap in the Hartree Centre’s supercomputing prowess. With a staggering processing power of 44.7 petaflops, it surpasses its predecessor by tenfold.

To grasp the magnitude of its capabilities, consider this: executing a single calculation per second would require almost 1,400 million years to reach the ThinkSystem Neptune’s level.

This system, which utilizes GPU-based architecture, is tailor-made for AI-intensive workloads, significantly augmenting the Hartree Centre’s computational capabilities.

Moreover, its innovative warm water cooling technology enhances efficiency and reduces energy consumption by up to 40% while boosting performance by up to 10%.

Empowering the UK Industry through AI

Situated at STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory in Sci-Tech Daresbury, the Hartree Centre is the sole supercomputing hub in the UK dedicated to industry collaboration, poised to propel innovation in various industrial sectors.

At the core of its mission, the Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation (HNCDI) program is critical in empowering businesses with the requisite skills and technical expertise to embrace cutting-edge digital technologies, encompassing supercomputing, quantum computing, and AI.

By granting access to these advanced supercomputing technologies, typically exclusive to academia and large-scale industries, the Hartree Centre catalyzes productivity, fosters innovation, and fuels growth within UK organizations.

Related: Lenovo Selected for New Supercomputer at the Paderborn Center for Parallel Computing

Addressing Global Challenges

The new supercomputer at the HNCDI is strategically positioned to spearhead discovery-led industrial research, targeting solutions to pressing global issues spanning various domains:

  • Weather and climate modeling
  • Cleaner energy initiatives
  • Drug discovery
  • Health technologies
  • New materials
  • Automotive advancements
  • Legal applications

This initiative includes ongoing collaboration between the Hartree Centre and the UK Atomic Energy Authority, focusing on researching new reactors for clean nuclear fusion energy.

Ultimately, the new supercomputer’s advanced capabilities will expedite research breakthroughs, significantly reducing the time and costs associated with such endeavors. Organizations like the Met Office, Unilever, and Rolls Royce, longstanding partners of the Hartree Centre, stand to benefit from this technological advancement.

Kate Royse, Director of STFC Hartree Centre, expressed excitement about collaborating with Lenovo, emphasizing the mission to fully equip the UK industry with the necessary knowledge and computing power to leverage advanced digital technologies.

Similarly, Noam Rosen, EMEA Director HPC/AI at Lenovo, highlighted the significance of their collaboration in revolutionizing HPC and AI capabilities in the UK, focusing on innovation and ethical technology adoption.

Mark Thomson, Executive Chair of STFC, views the agreement with Lenovo as a significant milestone in enabling UK businesses to access vital infrastructure and expertise. It aligns with government ambitions to foster a competitive and innovative digital economy and solidify the UK’s position as a global AI superpower.

The Lenovo ThinkSystem Neptune: A Supercomputer in Figures

  • Capable of performing the same number of calculations as 20,790 top-of-the-range smartphones.
  • Completes an hour of calculation, equivalent to 0.17 seconds on a leading smartphone.
  • Holds 4,500 hours of 4k video in its working memory.
  • Stores an impressive 60,000 hours of 4k video on its hard disks.


1. What is the significance of the new supercomputer at the STFC Hartree Centre?

The new supercomputer represents a significant advancement in computational power, enabling the Hartree Centre to conduct more complex research and analysis, particularly in AI-related fields, which can drive innovation and growth in UK industries.

2. What are the key features of the Lenovo ThinkSystem Neptune?

The Lenovo ThinkSystem Neptune is a GPU-based system designed for AI workloads, with innovative warm water cooling technology that enhances energy efficiency while maintaining high performance.

3. How will the new supercomputer contribute to global efforts in clean energy research?

Through collaboration with the UK Atomic Energy Authority, the Hartree Centre will utilize the supercomputer to research new reactors for clean nuclear fusion energy, contributing to global clean energy research and development efforts.

4. How will the new supercomputer benefit UK industry?

The supercomputer will empower UK industries by providing access to advanced digital technologies, such as supercomputing and AI, previously limited to academia and large-scale industries. This access can drive productivity, innovation, and growth within UK organizations.

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