2024 / 01 / 12

Astronomy UdeC acquires advanced device for simulations of stars and black holes

Astronomy UdeC acquires advanced device for simulations of stars and black holes

A power comparable to 15% of Guacolda, a cluster of servers from the National Laboratory for High Performance Computing (NLHPC), the largest supercomputer at the national level. That is the level of calculation of the new server acquired by a team of researchers with an important UdeC presence, with which first-level simulations can be carried out to better understand the formation of stars, black holes and stellar mergers.

The acquisition occurred in the context of the Quimal 220002 Project, led by astronomers from the University of Concepción, Dr. Dominik Schleicher, Dr. Michael Fellhauer, Dr. Stefano Bovino; and Dr. Andrés Escala from the University of Chile, all also participants in the CATA center of excellence. Dr. Rafeel Riaz from the Bernardo O'Higgins University will also work alongside them. All this process to the University was assisted, configured and acquired by Onyxtech

A Supermicro server, with first-class processing capacity

On a technical level, it is a Supermicro server with four NVIDIA A100 graphics cards that, unlike the classic desktop ones or those dedicated to video games or digital content creation, focus on the processing of high flows of information, “with a individual computing capacity per card of 156 Teraflops (145 trillion floating point operations per second),” as reported by Dr. Michael Fellhauer.

Dr. Dominik Schleicher, also a member of the TITANS Millennium Nucleus, “the computational capacity in Teraflops of this server has approximately 15% of the complete capacity of the Guacolda supercomputer of the National High Performance Computing Laboratory, but concentrated in a single unit, allowing highly efficient work.”

For his part, Dr. Rafeel Riaz explained that such graphics cards “are powerful tools for stellar collision modeling tasks using hydrodynamic parameters.”

“The architecture of the tensor core and the memory bandwidth make the A100 graphics suitable for doing complex simulations like the ones we intend to do through codes like Nbody6++GPU and STARSMASHER,” added Dr. Andrés Escala.

Why is this type of simulation so important in astronomy? Because through these analyses, the national and international scientific community can develop quantitative predictions of theories on star formation, black holes and in the context of star mergers, among others. “These calculations are quite important to compare with existing observations and new observations in the future, such as we will have with the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) in Chile,” added Dr. Schleicher.

In turn, the Quimal Fund, managed by the National Research and Development Agency ANID, is intended to promote astronomical research, technological development and knowledge transfer, supporting this acquisition as a significant step to enhance scientific research in the astronomy at a national and international level.

Our congratulations to Onyxtech and the UdeC.!!

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