The increasing performance of DKRZ's supercomputers during the last two decades enabled substantial progress in the development of realistic climate models. In 1987, when DKRZ was founded, the CDC Cyber-205 only allowed simulations of either the atmosphere or the ocean. Likewise, the computational grid had to be very coarse, and the length of simulations was limited to a few years.

Since then, each new system at DKRZ has allowed for an extension of the simulation length, for inclusion of more processes and for an increase of spatial resolution with the result of more realistic simulations. But even today, with currently one of the most powerful computer systems worldwide used for earth system research, the resolution and fidelity of climate simulations are still constrained by computational limitations.

 Atos/Bull  Mistral bullx B700 DLC"Mistral"
vendor: Atos/Bull
since July 2015 / July 2016 (installed in 2 phases)
  • 36 000 / 100 000 compute cores
  • 1.4 / 3.6 PFLOPS peak performance
  • 120 / 240 TByte memory
  • 54 PByte parallel file system
DKRZ Blizzard klein IBM Power 6 p375 "Blizzard"
vendor: IBM
March 2009 - October 2015
  • 8 448 compute cores
  • 158 TFLOPS peak performance
  • 20 TByte memory
  • 6 PByte parallel file system
Tornado Sun Linux Cluster "Tornado"
vendor: Sun Microsystems
April 2008 - July 2012
  • 256 Sun Fire X2200M- compute nodes
  • 2048 compute cores (2 Quad-Core-CPUs per compute node)
  • 10 TFLOPS peak performance
  • 8.5 TByte memory
NEC SX-6 NEC SX-6 "Hurricane"
vendor: NEC High Performance Computing Europe
March 2002 - April 2009
  • 192 CPUs
  • 1536 GFLOPS peak performance
  • 1536 GByte memory
  • 60 TByte parallel file system
NEC SX-4 NEC SX-4
vendor: NEC High Performance Computing Europe
October 2001 - March 2002
  • 16 CPUs
  • 32 GFLOPS peak performance
  • 32 GByte memory
Cray T3D Cray T3D
vendor: Cray Research Cooperation
September 1994 - June 2000
  • 128 CPUs
  • 19.2 GFLOPS peak performance
  • 8 GByte memory
Cray C-916 Cray C916
vendor: Cray Research Cooperation
April 1994 - June 2001
  • 16 CPUs
  • 16 GFLOPS peak performance
  • 2 GByte memory + 4 GB SSD
  • 130 GByte disk capacity
Convex C38xx Convex C38xx
vendor: Convex
November 1991 - 1998 (various configurations)
  • 4-8 CPUs
  • 1-2 GByte memory
  • 20 - 130 GByte disk capacity
Cray YMP Cray Y-MP
vendor: Cray Research Cooperation
May 1991 - May 1995
  • 3 CPUs
  • 1 GFLOPS peak performance
  • 0.512 GByte memory
Cray 2-S Cray 2S
vendor: Cray Research Cooperation
November 1988 - May 1994
  • 4 CPUs
  • 2 GFLOPS peak performance
  • 1 GByte memory
  • 25 GByte disk capacity
Cyper-205 Control Data Cyber-205
vendor: Control Data Cooperation
January 1988 - March 1989
  • 1 CPU
  • 0.2 GFLOPS peak performance
  • 0.032 GByte memory
  • 2.5 Gbyte disk capacity