TotalEnergies' 1.6 petaflop supercomputer will be the company's most economical

As TotalEnergies celebrates its centenary in 2024, the French multinational company specializing in the production and supply of energy (fossil and renewable) has presented the fourth version of its supercomputer Pangea 4.

In just over ten years, TotalEnergies has already delivered four generations of supercomputers.

What is a supercomputer and what is its use?

By taking the definition given by Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Authority (CEA)A supercomputer is defined as:A very large computer that combines tens of thousands of processors and is capable of performing a very large number of simultaneous calculations or data processing operations.“We are even talking about tens of millions of billions of operations in a matter of seconds among the most efficient operations.

The term supercomputer can also be used as a synonym for supercomputer.

As for its utility, it is not a recreational computer on which you can play the best video games. No, a supercomputer is a scientific instrument. In fact, as the CEA specifies, such a machine is used to conduct scientific experiments but also to carry out “Simulate complex phenomena (earthquakes, formation of stars, galaxies or even the entire universe, etc.), and make predictions (meteorology, climate)

Finally, today, we express the power of supercomputers in petaflops. An abbreviation for the unit of measurement of peta (P) which represents 10^15 (1 with fifteen zeros behind it, or a million billion) and Flops (floating point operations per second or floating point operations per second) which correspond to the operations that a supercomputer can perform.

What will Pangea 4 be used for?

Pangea 4 has a power of 1.6 petaflops, according to information gathered by Sud Ouest. In other words, that means it can perform 1.6 million billion operations per second. Using the southern media’s comparison, that’s the equivalent of asking 8,500 laptops to work simultaneously on the same task.

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On the site Total energiesWe know that Pangaea 4 has a limited lifespan and will last four years between 2024 and 2028, but also what purpose it will be used for.

Thus, according to the list that can be found on the website of the French multinational, the latest generation of supercomputers will be used for:

  • CO2 capture and geological storage project
  • Methane Emissions Reduction Calculation,
  • Wind flow simulation for designing future wind farm installations,
  • Conducting simulations of biofuels and polymers,
  • Image processing, seismic acquisition, reservoir simulation and geological basin modelling as part of exploration and production activities.

Supercomputer said to be 'more economical'

Finally, the last thing we know about Pangea 4 is that it will be the most energy efficient. In fact, according to the brand's estimates, it is supposed to consume about 87% less electricity, thanks to the cloud: Pangea Cloud.

But we can also wonder if the fact that it is more economical simply doesn’t make sense given the potential power of its predecessor Pangea III. In fact, the latter, again according to TotalEnergies, has a potential power of 31.7 petaflops. In other words, it could theoretically perform at least 31 million billion operations per second.

If we had to ask 8,500 laptops to work simultaneously for Pangea 4, we would have to ask 170,000 laptops to work on the same task for Pangea III. It makes perfect sense that this would consume more.

However, we still have to remember that when it was released in 2019, the energy monster Pangea III, developed by IBM in particular, consumed much less than its predecessors. In fact, according to Total energies“,”Power consumption for Pangea 3 was estimated at 1.5 MW compared to 4.5 MW for Pangea 1 and 2.

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Source: Southwest / TotalEnergies / CEA

Frank Mccarthy

<p class="sign">"Certified gamer. Problem solver. Internet enthusiast. Twitter scholar. Infuriatingly humble alcohol geek. Tv guru."</p>

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