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Córdoba inaugurates Serafín, a new supercomputer that pays tribute to Fontanarrosa


It is equivalent to 300 desktop PCs and its computing power is 156 trillion operations per second. What it will be used for.

John brodersen

08/04/2021 9:46 AM

  • Clarí

  • Technology

Updated 08/04/2021 9:48 AM

The High Performance Computing Center (CCAD) of the National University of Córdoba (UNC)

inaugurates this Wednesday Serafín

, the new supercomputer for High Performance Computing (HPC), in an investment that demanded

$ 371,000.

It is the most powerful supercomputer in the country's Science and Technology System, equivalent to more than



personal computers

on average, with a computing capacity of 

156 billion operations per second.

“Serafín will be used for a wide variety of calculations, such as molecular docking to test different drugs against viruses such as


, other pathogens and diseases;

materials, testing different

physical characteristics of materials

, developments in nanotechnology for alternative energies, in astronomy,

simulating the evolution of galaxies

, planetary systems and sets of galaxies ”, they explained in a statement from the UNC.

As an example, to understand why so much computing power is needed, the UNC explained that in these astronomical simulations "the movement of more than

8.5 billion celestial objects

is modeled

", which requires equipment that can process volumes of information that are not common.

Serafín, the new supercomputer from Córdoba.


In the economic field, for example, computers like Serfaín can be used in an estimation of data models and "the construction of composite indicators to evaluate economic and financial performance."

“Argentina is part of the G20 but it never had a cluster important enough to be on the list of the 500 most important in the world. Serafín is a step forward:

an investment that came directly from the UNC

, we assume that the National State is capable of buying much more and we think that this is going to be one more step towards '


', the first top 500 in Argentina ”, he explained to


Nicolas Wolovick, member of the Board of the CCAD-UNC by the Faculty of Mathematics, Astronomy, Physics and Computer Science.



? Yes, all computers have names from the Roberto Fontanarrosa universe. Serafín is the third computer in the lineage of the characters in the Inodoro Pereyra strip, which began with


, the acid dog of Inodoro (2012), then


(2017), Pereyra's partner


, and now closes the trilogy with con the

vegetarian nephew

Odorless, or his uncle 's


"the shame of Pereyra".

In fact, in that world system, Serafín is modest: “

It is 8% of the worst cluster in the top 500


It is insignificant, but it is a step because there was investment, people need more computing power and that pressure makes us look for financing and opportunities ”, added the also Associate Professor of the Bachelor of Computer Science at the UNC.

A brown beast loose in Córdoba

Carlos Bederián, Marcos Mazzini, Darío Graña, from Conicet: the owners of Serafin.

Photo Darío Graña

Serafín is composed of 60 nodes, each with 2 AMD EPYC 7532 microprocessors and 128 GB of RAM: a total of





3,840 compute


with a combined calculation capacity of 156 TFLOPS peak of double precision.

“This makes it the second most powerful cluster in the country, behind the cluster dedicated to meteorology Huayra Muyu of the National Meteorological Service (SMN), and the most powerful one dedicated to research and technological development with open access for both the scientific community and to the private sector ”, they explain from the UNC.

"With Serafín, the peak computing power of the entire CCAD-UNC is doubled, and the effective computing power is tripled,

thanks to the remarkable performance of the processors used,

" they add.

It should also be noted that an unbeatable price was obtained from the entire sales and distribution chain: the market cost of the 120 AMD EPYC 7532 processors exceeds the cost paid for the entire cluster.

In addition to Serafín, the

UNC Data Center

is also being inaugurated

, a data center to house computers and network equipment throughout the University.

There is Serafín arranged, but it will also be the place of all the computing, storage and network services of the UNC.

Serafín, the new supercomputer from Córdoba.


"The UNC Data Center represents an even greater investment than Serafín, since it is estimated at a cost that exceeds

2 million US dollars

, and has everything that is required to provide physical, electrical and fire safety, as well as special conditions of cooling, soundproofing and technical floor.

In the Data Center will be all the data of students, teachers

, and the respective associated systems such as the



system, the payment system, file and Electronic Document Management (GDE) that allows the paperwork of the entire UNC to be dispatched ”, Wolovick explained.

Serafín was acquired through UNC's 2019 Program for the Acquisition of Large Equipment (PAGE) and required an investment of $ 371,000.

It is not the most powerful supercomputer in the country, but it is the one of the Science and Technology system.

The most powerful, Huayra Muyu, is held by the National Meteorological Service, with 128 nodes with 2 16-core processors, that is, 4096 processing cores.


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Source: clarin

All tech articles on 2021-08-04

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