Petrobras’ latest supercomputer goes fully operational

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, December 20, 2022
Petrobras’ latest supercomputer goes fully operational

Brazil's national oil company Petrobras' newest, 300mn-real (US$56.6mn) supercomputer is now operating at full capacity, French IT multinational Atos said in a statement.

Dubbed Pégaso, the high-capacity processing (HPC) machine was assembled and deployed by Atos, with GPUs provided by Nvidia and servers by Supermicro.

“The delivery of a project this big is always a challenge; we had more than 30 tons of equipment transported in 32 trucks,” said Luis Casuscelli, head of big data and security at Atos for South America.

Atos started assembling Pégaso for Petrobras in June, as reported by BNamericas.

At present, Petrobras has four core supercomputers in operation – Pégaso, Fênix, Atlas and Dragão – and all supplied by Atos, in addition to other supporting HPC machines.

The oil giant uses the machines to power up the processing of geophysical and geological data – reducing uncertainties and project risks – as well as to reduce the time between the discovery of an oilfield and the start of production.

“In recent years, we have helped Petrobras with Dragão, Atlas and Fênix, but Pégaso will expand the company's processing capacity to 63 PetaFLOPS (FP64 peak),” added Casuscelli.

One petaflop equals one quadrillion operations per second.

With 678 terabytes of RAM memory, 2,016 GPUs and a 400Gbps network, Pégaso has a processing capacity close to Atlas and Dragão combined. The machine's 30t of components are distributed in racks that, lined up, add up to 35m.

This is Atos' seventh supercomputer in operation in Brazil, which makes Brazil second only after the US in number of supercomputers deployed by the IT group in the Americas.

Pégaso is the largest supercomputer in Latin America, the fifth most powerful in the global oil and gas industry and the 33rd global supercomputer overall, according to Atos and Petrobras.

It is also deemed to be the most eco-efficient on the continent, and second in the global oil industry, the companies said, citing the Green500 ranking.

“The assertiveness in prospecting and seismic analysis that a processing capacity like this brings certainly makes this investment pay off. For those who operate in deep water, like Petrobras, assertiveness about where to drill is of exceptional value,” Atos South American president Nelson Campelo told BNamericas in an interview in May.


In related news, Petrobras is also expected to end the year with private mobile networks running in around 20 of its onshore and offshore production sites, according to Luis Felipe de Araújo, general manager of operations and ICT infrastructure at the NOC.

The network is being deployed by Telefônica Brasil, which won a tender held by the oil company years ago for the deployment of private 4G LTE antennas at Petrobras facilities. 

The goal is to connect 46 offshore and onshore sites by the end of 2024, gradually evolving them to 5G technology, as previously reported by BNamericas.

Of the total, 29 are platforms in the Campos and Santos basins and 17 are land units, including refineries, gas processing plants, warehouses, a tech center and ports.

“It's a journey. There’s still a long way to go before we have a complete radiation at Petrobras. But we are doing well,” de Araújo said during a webinar held by Convergência Digital on Monday.

“And when we put 5G in place and the applications actually start to have a 5G-like throughout, the amount of data I will be able to bring to the edge and IoT devices I will be able to connect will be immense,” he added.

“The expectation is to increase the speed of data transmission dozens of times, boosting remote operations and real-time monitoring technologies in confined environments, in addition to leveraging augmented and mixed reality and the so-called internet of things, among other advances,” Petrobras previously said about the 5G project.

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