The University of Rochester in New York State has deployed a new supercomputer for its Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE).

The 'Conesus' high-performance computing (HPC) system has been designed to assist with the university's research through artificial intelligence and machine learning.

– University of Rochester / J. Adam Fenster

The LLE is studying laser-driven inertial confinement fusion (ICF) for national security purposes and to be used to harvest energy from nuclear fusion. Researching this is complicated - due to the need for high compression and massive heat - so the supercomputer will enable researchers to instead conduct 3D simulations.

Conesus was manufactured by Intel and features the company's fourth-generation Sapphire Rapids processors.

According to the latest Top500 list, Conesus is ranked 311th. The supercomputer has a theoretical peak performance of 2.75 petaflops and is comprised of 43,008 cores across 384 Dell EMC PowerEdge C6220 nodes and 56-core Intel Xeon Platinum 8480 processors.

“The Laboratory for Laser Energetics is an extremely productive and high-energy-density physics research facility conducting thousands of experiments for hundreds of scientists each year,” said Stephen Dewhurst, Rochester’s vice president for research.

“The advance in computing power Conesus provides will allow the lab and its collaborators to better analyze existing data as well as plan new experimental campaigns more effectively. Our partnership with DOE/NNSA, Dell, Intel, and New York State have been invaluable, and I look forward to the future discoveries this new system will enable.”

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand added: "With the University of Rochester hosting one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, the university demonstrates its preeminent leadership in high-performance computing research.

"Conesus will help pave the way for strengthening our national security capabilities and has the potential to achieve long-sought breakthroughs in clean energy development. This is a tremendous asset for the Rochester-Finger Lakes region, New York, and beyond.”

The LLE and University are home to the largest US Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration university-based research program.

In addition to the supercomputer, the Laboratory is receiving $18 million in federal funding.