Imagine 6 million cell phones or 150,000 powerful notebooks working together. This is the equivalent processing capacity of the Pegasussupercomputer Petrobras which ranks first in Latin America on the TOP500 list of high performance computing (HPC).
The result made Petrobras four-time champion in this ranking. In 2019, the company won the first position with the Fênix supercomputer. In 2020, it was Atlas’s turn to take that post. In 2021, Petrobras repeated the feat with the supercomputer Dragão.
21 petaflops capacity
Pegasus’ impressive numbers explain why their most recent victory. The supercomputer has 678 TB of RAM (yes, terabytes), 2,016 GPUs and 400 Gb/s link (gigabits per second) for connectivity.
The machine also has 233,856 cores thanks to a combination of AMD Epyc 7513 chips. The operating system is the Linux CentOS distribution.
According to Petrobras, the supercomputer consists of 30 tons of components distributed in racks that, in a row, reach 35 m in length.
The translation of all this is: high processing capacity. Alone, Pegasus is almost as powerful as Dragon and Atlas combined, as this list shows:
- Pegasus: 21 petaflops
- Dragon: 14 petaflops
- Atlas: 8.9 petaflops
- Phoenix: 5.4 petaflops
It is worth mentioning that 1 petaflop corresponds to 1 quadrillion floating point operations (mathematical operations) per second.
Given the Top500 list on a global scalePegasus appears in 33rd position.
Petrobras invested BRL 300 million in Pégaso
Of course, a supercomputer like this wouldn’t be cheap. Petrobras explains that the Pégaso project required an investment of R$ 300 million. These efforts will see the company’s total processing capacity jump from 42 to 63 petaflops.
O Pegasus began to be assembled in July🇧🇷 The company’s expectation is that the supercomputer will be fully functional by December.
With the addition of four smaller machines, Petrobras expects to reach a total processing capacity of 80 petaflops in the near future.
It’s not intended to occupy high-performance computing lists, obviously. Petrobras supercomputers are used in complex tasks, which include geophysical and geological data processing.
The current machines should help the company make programs like the EXP100 feasible, “which aims to achieve 100% use of data and knowledge in exploratory projects”. The CEOS and PROD1000 programs, which aim to reduce the deadlines for starting production in a field, will also benefit.
Pegasus is also “eco-efficient”
In addition to being the most powerful supercomputer in Latin America in the TOP500, Pégaso is the leader in the region in the Green500, an energy efficiency ranking.
When fully operational, the supercomputer will have a maximum consumption of 1.5 MW. Petrobras implies that this is a very optimized capacity for a machine of this size. Paulo Palaia, Director of Digital Transformation and Innovation at the company, comments:
In the elaboration of this HPC project, several choices and technical requirements were made in order to reduce consumption, such as the choice of mathematical accelerators (GPUs), the most eco-efficient that exist, and the demand for high efficiency sources.
The company also points out that Pégaso was installed in a data center that only uses clean energy, although this factor does not contribute to the Green500 score.