Côte d’Ivoire has since Friday, June 29 a supercomputer, a computer capable of performing complex calculations at very high speed. Located on the Bingerville campus in Abidjan within Côte d’Ivoire’s newest National Computing Center, it is the second largest in the continent to be operational – after Cape Town in South Africa in 2016. Financed by a loan from the French Treasury Directorate, this powerful computer will be used in many scientific fields.
The Ivorian supercomputer is composed of seven cabinets, each weighing one ton. Inside are piled up a multitude of computer servers connected to each other and making it possible to digitize complex phenomena often inaccessible on a human scale. And this, at very high speed: this supercomputer can indeed achieve 322 billion operations per second.
“To put it simply, it’s more than 10,000 times a desktop. And so what a desktop can do, it can do it 10,000 times in the same amount of time. So with a supercomputer we can simulate, we can model, we can also do coding on a large scale and process big data in record time, “explains Florent Adiamonon, Operations Manager at Atos, the company that provided the supercomputer.
This supercomputer can be used in the fields of molecular biology, agriculture or even climatology, as explained by Professor Souleymane Konate, head of the sustainable development pole of the National Computing Center of Côte d’Ivoire. “Environmental problems are increasingly complex problems that generate a lot of data. So to be able to understand these problems and to analyze these data, one needs a power of computation and a power of simulation, because the environmental problems are very difficult reversible thus the prediction is the best of the solutions. ”
For the authorities, this tool will help boost Ivorian research and reduce brain drain. In the region, Senegal should in turn announce the commissioning of its supercomputer in 2019.