sketch of building
 An architectural impression of the LUMI data centre design. The word ‘lumi’ means ‘snow’ in Finnish. Image: Synopsis Architects & Geometria Architecture

World-leading supercomputer LUMI to be built in Finland

LUMI will begin operations in mid-2021, supercharging European competitiveness and research.

Samuli Ojala


The European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) has invested 144.5 million euros to assemble a supercomputer called LUMI (Large Unified Modern Infrastructure) in Kajaani, Finland, to raise European competitiveness and research to a new level. The LUMI system will be supplied by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which was awarded the contract by EuroHPC JU. Once operational, it will surpass the current fastest supercomputer, Japan’s Fugaku.

“The pre-exascale supercomputer hosted by the LUMI consortium will be among the top five in the world,” commented Khalil Rouhana, deputy director-general for DG Connect at the European Commission.

“Together with the other EuroHPC pre-exascale and petascale supercomputers that will be deployed in 2021, the LUMI supercomputer will help Europe’s public and private users address many daunting research and innovation problems across different areas from weather and climate change through cybersecurity to drug discovery and personalised medicine.”

LUMI will be capable of executing 375 petaflops, or more than 375 million billion calculations per second, with a theoretical maximum performance of more than 550 petaflops per second, equalling that of 1.5 million laptops. It will be hosted by CSC’s data centre in Kajaani and consume exclusively hydropower while covering 20 per cent of the area’s district heating needs.

“The reliability of CSC and Finland made the European Commission and 10 partner countries to invest in one pan-European high-performance computing and data management infrastructure in Finland,” viewed Anita Lehikoinen, permanent secretary at the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. “We have to keep up the excellent collaboration in order to maximise this investment to benefit society on a larger scale.”

One-fifth of the supercomputer’s capacity will be made available to industry and SMEs to support the competitiveness of European businesses. A mission-critical fast-track capacity will also be integrated into LUMI’s operations – a need amplified by the COVID19 pandemic.

The LUMI consortium participants are Finland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.

28.10 9:30. Updated theoretical maximum performance to more than 550 petaflops per second.

LUMI’s superpowers

LUMI will be based on Hewlett Packard’s HPE Cray EX supercomputer.  Its capability of 552 x 1015 floating-point operations per second (flops) will represent a significant step towards exascale computing, which refers to the capacity to compute 1018 flops and is the estimated processing power of the human brain.

LUMI will pack a storage of 117 petabytes and be configured with a bandwidth of 160 terabytes per second, enough to accommodate the entire global internet traffic twice.


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