HPC5, supercomputers serving research activities

Man walking inside HPC5

HPC5, the supercomputer in action

Its full name is High Performance Computer 5 and it is the latest-generation of our supercomputers. Its performance makes it one of the world’s most powerful and, thanks to its architecture, also one of the most sustainable. We use it both to perform studies to identify and develop new natural gas reserves and to develop transition projects and study new energy sources.

 

The energy industry needs to process large amounts of data and information. Having the computing power of HPC5 at our disposal allows us to obtain three-dimensional models of the subsurface much faster for the exploration and development of new resources and the definition of decarbonisation projects, as well as to study solutions for increasing the efficiency of renewable sources. High computing power is also valuable for research into magnetic confinement fusion.

Main features

Oil & Gas
Oil & Gas
Renewable
Renewable
Scientific research
Scientific research

Industrial production

Geophysical exploration
Artificial intelligence
Molecular modelling
Fluid dynamics

Pasqal
IBM
Cineca
CNR Lecce

What is it for?

Our HPC5 High Performance Computer helps us to improve the accuracy of geological and fluid dynamic studies, increasing prospecting precision, reducing uncertainty in identifying new deposits and speeding up production: these are key factors for guaranteeing natural gas supplies and energy security. With HPC5, we can use sophisticated proprietary algorithms for 3D subsoil modelling.

Not only that, the supercomputer also proves invaluable for applied research into new energies. For example, we use it in research into magnetic confinement fusion, a potential source of revolutionary energy. We also make it available for applied scientific research in areas such as climatology and pharmacology.

How does it work?

HPC5 is a set of parallel computing nodes developing a peak processing power of approximately 52 million billion complex mathematical operations per second (51.7 petaflop/s). If we also take into account the supercomputing system already in operation since 2018 (HPC4), the total capacity is 70 million billion complex mathematical operations per second (70 petaflop/s).

The HPC5, launched in 2020, is currently one of the world's most powerful industrial supercomputers, ranked 21st in the TOP500 world ranking (November 2023). HPC4 and HPC5 feature a hybrid architecture that optimises performance while reducing energy consumption. In addition to conventional CPUs (central processing units), these systems also feature GP-GPUs (general purpose graphics processing units), which are optimised for parallel processing of large amounts of data and are extremely energy-efficient.

The two supercomputers are housed in the Green Data Center in Ferrera Erbognone, one of the most energy-efficient and carbon-footprint-reducing data centers in Europe. In addition to being partly powered by a 1MW photovoltaic plant, the machines are cooled for at least 92% of the year by circulating air at low speed, reducing the use of air conditioning to a minimum.

Features and performance

The HPC5 is a computing cluster, i.e. a set of computers working together to multiply overall performance. Its power is three times that of its predecessor, the HPC4. 

52
mln of bln

complex mathematical operations performed in one second (HPC5)


70
mln of bln

complex mathematical operations per second (HPC5 + HPC4)


1,820

Total CPUs (HPC5)


7,280

total GPU cards (HPC 5)


52
mln of bln

complex mathematical operations performed in one second (HPC5)

70
mln of bln

complex mathematical operations per second (HPC5 + HPC4)

1,820

Total CPUs (HPC5)

7,280

total GPU cards (HPC 5)

Expand

Technological partners

Our supercomputer proves invaluable for collaborations that go beyond the boundaries of the energy sector. At the Eni-CNR joint research centre in Lecce, it is used to make meteoclimatic models of the Arctic, while at the Gela research centre, it is used in the study of superconducting magnets for magnetic confinement fusion. In collaboration with the Cineca inter-university consortium in Bologna, it also made it possible to carry out a molecular supercomputing experiment in order to identify the most suitable drugs against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Finally, always in the field of supercomputing, to look towards what we can consider the new frontier of high performance computers, we collaborate with the company PASQAL, in which Eni has invested through its corporate venture capital vehicle Eni Next; PASQAL works in the field of quantum supercomputers that are also applicable to the energy industry.

Research and technological innovation

The activities of our Research Centers, a network of laboratories and pilot plants that support our business.



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