In the future, researchers all over Germany will have access to a new high-performance computer at Mainz's Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU) for complex arithmetic operations and the analysis of large amounts of data. The Rhineland-Palatinate Minister of Science Clemens Hoch (SPD) officially inaugurated the computer called "Mogon NHR Süd-West" on Monday. The computer, for the hardware of which the federal and state governments of Rhineland-Palatinate have provided a total of 7.5 million euros, is part of the nationwide network "National High-Performance Computing" (NHR).
According to the university, the new Mainz computer is capable of performing around 2.8 trillion arithmetic operations per second - one trillion has 15 zeros. The storage capacity of the computer is also huge and meets the security standards required for medical research projects with sensitive patient data.
In a building on the Mainz university campus, the technology from "Mogon NHR Süd-West" fills several rows of equipment cabinets, where countless hard drives, graphics cards and processors are housed. The computer is about ten times faster and significantly more energy-efficient than its predecessor "Mogon 1" and also more energy-efficient than "Mogon 2", which will continue to be operated in parallel for a while. "Mogon 2" itself was the fastest high-performance computer at a German university in 2017 and was ranked 51st in the list of the most energy-efficient supercomputers worldwide at the time - this shows how quickly technical development in this area is progressing. The name Mogon is said to be based on the Roman Mogontiacum, which is the Latin name of the city of Mainz.
Roughly speaking, "Mogon NHR Süd-West" can run simulations for processes that depend on an extremely large number of factors. A concrete example is the calculation of interactions between chemical and physical processes in the earth's climate system in the physics department in Mainz - i.e. the effects of clouds and precipitation. Another example are calculations on geodynamic processes, for example on the edges of continental plates or on volcanoes. In Mainz, it has also been simulated how lipids, i.e. transporters of messenger RNA (mRNA), which are used in corona vaccines, dock to cells and how mRNA gets into cells.
"The use of high-performance computers has long since become indispensable in many research areas due to large amounts of data and complex simulation calculations," emphasized Minister Hoch. The Vice President for Research and Young Scientists at JGU, Stefan Müller-Stach, referred to the increasing international competition among universities, which is particularly evident in the field of data processing.
JGU, Frankfurt's Goethe University, the Rhineland-Palatinate Technical University of Kaiserslautern-Landau and Saarland University have joined forces in the NHR Südwest sub-group.
To the network NHR-Südwest