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Technical details of the current and previous COSMOS systems


Current system: COSMOS IX (installed July 2012)



  • SGI Altix UV2000 (see [1])
  • Cosmos2 - 1536x cores (Intel Xeon E5-4650L).
  • Cosmic - 288x cores (Intel Xeon E5-4650L), 24x Intel Xeon Phi (5110P).
  • peak theoretical performance of 38.6 Tflops (calculated using [2])
  • 8GB RAM per core
  • Cosmos2 - 12.2TB RAM in total, globally accessible.
  • Cosmic - 2.3TB RAM in total, globally accessible.
  • NUMALink cache-coherent interconnect, all-to-all, MPI offload engine.
  • 230TB High Performance storage with SGI CXFS, up to 6GB/s sustained I/O disk to/from memory.
  • 1x login/development/visualisation node, microcosm ( a small SGI Altix UV2000, equipped with NVidia GPUs and 6x Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors)
  • COSMOS VIII - SGI Altix UV1000



    COSMOS VIII (SGI UV1000, right) with COSMOS VII (SGI Altix 4700, left)

    This machine from SGI came in several modifications. Ours was built around Intel NehalemEX 2.67GHz CPUs and contained 768 cores and 2TB of global shared memory. Each CPU had six cores and formed a virtual node, with two nodes per blade. The machine was configured as a single system image(SSI), running Novell Linux SLES11 SP1 and SGI's ProPack7 SP1, and supported equally well both shared and distributed memory algorithms (OpenMP, MPI,GlobalArrays, PGAS - UPC, CAF).


    COSMOS VII - SGI Altix 4700


    COSMOS Mark VII was an SGI Altix 4700 with 152 Itanium2 1.6GHz cores and 456 GB of global shared memory. Each CPU had 18 Mb of L3 cache and delivered a peak performance of 12.8 Gflops.

    The machine was configured as a single system image running Linux (SuSE SLES10), and supported both shared and distributed memory algorithms.


    COSMOS upgrade history


    Demand for high quality computational resources in cosmology has meant that the COSMOS supercomputer has undergone no fewer than nine embodiments since 1997:


    COSMOS IX 2012 SGI Altix UV2000 - 1856 cores
    COSMOS VIII 2010 SGI Altix UV1000 - 768 cores (+retaining Altix 4700)
    COSMOS VII 2007 SGI Altix 4700 - 152 cores
    COSMOS VI 2004 SGI Altix 3700 - 152 cpus (upgrade)
    COSMOS V 2003 SGI Altix 3700 - 128 cpus
    COSMOS IV 2002 SGI Origin 3800 - 64 cpus
    COSMOS III 1999 SGI Origin 2000 - 64 cpus
    COSMOS II 1998 SGI Origin 2000 - 44 cpu upgrade + Onyx2
    COSMOS I 1997 SGI Origin 2000 - 32 cpus



    COSMOS V - SGI Altix 3700.jpg

    COSMOS V - SGI Altix 3700


    COSMOS IV - SGI Origin 3800.jpg

    COSMOS IV - SGI Origin 3800


    COSMOS I - SGI Origin 2000.jpg

    COSMOS I - SGI Origin 2000


    Earlier COSMOS web pages


    Back in 1997, COSMOS was the world's first national cosmology supercomputer. Its launch was attended by very considerable media attention with prime-time news items on the BBC and CNN, amongst other broadcasters, and many articles in prominent newspapers. The interested reader can view earlier web pages about these events:

    Original COSMOS public tour web pages

    Press releases and media coverage from the COSMOS launch