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IBM develops world's most powerful commercial supercomputer for Total

Christian Fernsby ▼ | June 18, 2019
IBM announced it has built Pangea III, the world's most powerful commercial supercomputer for Total, a supermajor global energy company operating in more than 130 countries.
IBM Pangea III
America   The new IBM POWER9-based supercomputer will help Total
The new IBM POWER9-based supercomputer will help Total more accurately locate new resources and better assess the potential associated revenue opportunities.

In addition, according to Total Pangea III requires 1.5 Megawatts, compared to 4.5 MW for its predecessor system.

Combined with the increased performance of Pangea III, Total has reported that they have observed that the new system uses less than 10% the energy consumption per petaflop as its predecessor.

Pangea III is being built using the same IBM POWER9 AI-optimized, high-performance architecture as used in the U.S. Department of Energy's Summit and Sierra supercomputers.

Because IBM POWER9 is optimized to take advantage of attached accelerators, it is designed to help Total not only improve performance but also improve energy efficiency in their HPC workloads.

Exploring new oil and gas prospects, Total must first create an accurate picture of what lies underground, through the use of seismic data acquisition during exploration campaigns.

Geoscientists then use these images to identify where oil and gas resources lie.

This process creates massive amounts of data that IBM POWER9 systems can easily handle with industry-exclusive technology.

IBM worked with NVIDIA to jointly develop the industry's only CPU-to-GPU NVIDIA NVLink connection, which allows for 5.6x faster memory bandwidth between the IBM POWER9 CPU and NVIDIA Tesla V100 Tensor Core GPUs than the compared x86-based systemsi.

This will help Total to process the vast amount of data required in seismic modeling to get more accurate insights faster than they previously could.