The Kraken supercomputer at Gdańsk University of Technology is already operational! | Gdańsk University of Technology

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Date added: 2023-04-28

The Kraken supercomputer at Gdańsk University of Technology is already operational!

Photo: Bartosz Bańka/Gdańsk Tech
On 25 April, the official opening of the Gdańsk Tech STOS Competence Center building and the presentation of the Kraken supercomputer took place. The complex, at the heart of which there is a set of specialized server rooms, is one of the most modern IT centers in our part of Europe. The total cost of the investment amounted to almost PLN 250 million.

The Gdańsk Tech Kraken supercomputer is hidden underground, on the slope of Góra Szubieniczna (Gallows Hill) in Gdańsk Wrzeszcz and on the edge of the university campus. It combines seven specialized server rooms and can operate both individually and - depending on current needs - as a set of several separate supercomputers. Its power will be supervised by both male and female scientists from Gdańsk University of Technology, as well as the team of the Gdańsk Tech Tri-City Academic Computer Network, which has found its new headquarters in the newly opened IT center in Gdańsk.

Prof. Krzysztof Wilde, Gdańsk Tech Rector during the launch of the Gdańsk Tech supercomputer. Photo: Bartosz Bańka/ Gdańsk Tech

Kraken will make it possible to conduct advanced research and complex simulations. Its computing power will enable scientists to conduct advanced work in the field of development of artificial intelligence algorithms, nuclear energy, environmental protection technologies, or medicine and pharmaceuticals. In addition, it is constantly growing in strength - at the end of the year, Kraken will reach a computing power of 13.6 PFlops, which, according to forecasts, in December 2023 will place it in the TOP 100 most powerful supercomputers in the world and at the forefront of supercomputers used in Europe.

– However, this is not really about a race for computing power, but research and development opportunities and the development of new technologies and solutions that serve society, both now and in the future. In the case of Kraken, they are practically unlimited, because the entire complex has been designed so that its capabilities can be successively expanded in the coming years - says prof. Henryk Krawczyk, director of the Gdańsk Tech CI TASK and originator of the construction of the complex.

Grand opening of the Gdańsk Tech STOS Centre

The whole Tri-City and the Pomerania region were waiting for this event. At the beginning of the year, residents chose a name for the new Gdańsk Tech supercomputer in an online plebiscite. There were over a thousand proposals submitted to the editorial office of - which organized the competition together with the University of Technology - but Kraken won the online voting with an overwhelming advantage: out of four final proposals, it won over 50 percent of votes.

All that was left to do was to wait for the opening of the center and the launch of Kraken, which took place at noon on Tuesday, 25 April. The ceremony was attended by: prof. Krzysztof Wilde, Gdańsk Tech Rector, Mieczysław Struk, Marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship, Dariusz Drelich, Pomeranian Voivode, prof. Henryk Krawczyk, as well as the authorities of Tri-City universities, representatives of partner companies and institutions, and people associated with the Tri-City scientific and academic environment. The ceremonial opening of the complex began with a symbolic ribbon cutting on the stairs integrated between the building blocks, which are also an extension of the historical axis of the Gdańsk Tech campus, and with a commemorative drone photo on the observation deck. For this part of the ceremony to run smoothly, the right weather was needed. The forecasts that helped plan the event were provided by the IMGW-PIB (Institute of Meteorology and Water Management) Meteorological Modeling Center using numerical weather models and the implementation of the WRF METEOPG model, which is calculated as part of the calculation project by CI TASK.

Then, in the conference room, occasional speeches and awarding of statuettes to people involved in the project took place.

Ceremonial ribbon cutting during the opening of Gdańsk Tech STOS CC. In the photo from the left: Prof. Henryk Krawczyk, director of CI TASK, Mieczysław Struk, marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship, prof. Krzysztof Wilde, Gdańsk Tech rector, Mariusz Miler, Gdańsk Tech chancellor. Photo: Bartosz Bańka/Gdańsk Tech

- The quality of a given university is evidenced primarily by its scientific achievements, research and teaching staff, as well as the level of knowledge and competence of its graduates. In order for all these elements to be constantly developed, however, appropriate infrastructure is necessary - said prof. Krzysztof Wilde, Gdańsk Tech rector. – The opening of the Gdańsk Tech STOS Center and the launch of the Kraken supercomputer ensures this in many respects and will also translate into an influx of even more young and talented people to Gdańsk, who will stay with us on a permanent basis. It is one of the most modern complexes of this type in Europe, which will significantly increase the competitiveness and attractiveness of not only our university, but the entire Pomeranian region - he added.

- This investment shows that the EU funds, which are distributed by the Marshal's Office, have been well managed and will contribute not only to the development of the university, but also the city and the region - said Mieczysław Struk, Marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship. – I am convinced that the STOS Center and the Kraken supercomputer will become the technological distinguishing feature of Pomerania on the map of Poland and Europe for many years to come – he added.

  – I am proud that it is in Pomerania, at Gdańsk University of Technology, that science, innovation and economy have come together in such a modern way. STOS is a place with an unusual intensity of modern technologies and future science - said Dariusz Drelich, Pomeranian Voivode. – Gdańsk Tech is a university that not only educates highly qualified staff, but also possesses the best tools for science, business and economy. I am pleased to see yet another project that will significantly increase the position of the university, its rank and competitiveness.

The highlight of the ceremony was the official launch of the Kraken supercomputer. For this occasion, a unique multimedia show presenting the machine was organized in one of the seven server rooms, in which the narrator of the story prepared by Gdańsk Tech press office was the well-known actor Jacek Rozenek, also known to millions of Polish game players as the "voice" of Geralt of Rivia in the "The Witcher" trilogy of games. The lighting was provided by the Profit 2000 Prolight Group. Kraken was symbolically turned on by the rector of Gdańsk Tech, prof. Krzysztof Wilde.

A state-of-the-art IT center in the heart of Europe

The Gdańsk Tech STOS Center building and the Kraken supercomputer hidden inside mean 13,000 sq. m. of smart space, which includes both the aforementioned server rooms and work spaces for scientists and engineers. The "bunker" with server rooms meets the highest safety standards - equipment and data are protected against fire, water and even electromagnetic fields.

- This is the most modern and safest server room in Europe - says Mariusz Miler, Chancellor of Gdańsk Tech. – It meets the requirements of the so-called TIER III with TIER IV elements, and these are the highest possible levels of security for data centers. Thanks to this, we can carry out any service or repair work at any time without shutting down the server room.

Continuous cooling and maintaining a constant temperature and humidity required by the supercomputer are ensured by four external chilled water chillers. In turn, security and continuity of energy supply will be ensured by two huge power generators, weighing 40 tons each.

– I think that the building and its interiors impress all visitors. I am very satisfied with the course of work, competence and commitment of our team. I feel we did well. However, there would be no success without the cooperation of all parties, including author's supervision, investor's supervision and, above all, good, substantive cooperation with Gdańsk Tech, for which I would like to thank you very much - said Małgorzata Winiarek-Gajewska, President of the Management Board of the NDI Group.

The cost of the Gdańsk Tech STOS Center building alone is PLN 156 million (PLN 90.1 million from the European Regional Development Fund - the subsidy was obtained thanks to the involvement of the Marshal's Office of the Pomeranian Voivodeship and the Pomeranian Development Agency in the project). To this, however, one must also add the funds for which the university equipped the facility, and above all, created the Kraken. The total cost of the investment, after installing further components of the supercomputer by the end of this year, will therefore reach even approximately PLN 250 million.

Visit Kraken and the Gdańsk Tech STOS Center

Participants of the Open Days of European Funds, which this year will also take place at Gdańsk University of Technology, will have the opportunity to visit the STOS Competence Center and the server rooms located there. The event will take place on 12 and 13 May, and you will be able to read about the details soon on the Gdańsk Tech website.