“This marks an important step towards the digitalization of research. We are now able to offer our researchers computing power, like no other company in the chemical industry,” said Dr. Martin Brudermüller, vice chairman of the Board of Executive Directors and CTO of BASF.
The supercomputer, which is located at the company’s headquarters in Ludwigshafen, enables processing of a greater number and more complex simulations and modeling in shorter periods of time while creating more space for creativity. “These are critical success factors in global competition,” added Brudermüller.
With a computing power of 1.75 petaflops (1 petaflop equals one quadrillion floating point operations per second), the new computer, called “Quriosity” following an online naming contest among employees, offers approximately 10 times the overall computing power previously available to BASF researchers. In the ranking of the 500 largest computing systems in the world, BASF’s supercomputer is currently number 65. It took roughly one year from initial internal planning meetings to start-up.
Installing the supercomputer involved reinforcing the floor in the server room, laying more than 1,000 network cables with a total length of 15 km as well as adding a separate water-cooling system, which can cool the supercomputer with 60,000 liters of water per hour.
Tasks requiring significant computing power, such as simulations of industrial catalysts, crop protection products, and materials, are among the first computational tasks being run.