ICAMS / Interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced Materials Simulation


The first two stages of the ICAMS compute cluster „Vulcan“ were installed in 2009 and 2010. Since the installation of its third stage in April 2013 385 nodes with more than 4500 cores are dedicated to multi-scale modelling of material properties and material design.
The new machine is the most important tool for the ICAMS scientists to perform
high throughput calculations. Combining cutting edge processor technology and
fast internal network communication in a space saving design, leaves enough
room for future extensions.


System Specifications

number of nodes: 385
number of cores: 4572
cpu: Intel® Xeon® E5530, E5650, E5-2670
clock: 2.4-2.7 GHz
cache: 8 MB
RAM: 29 TB (total)
network: Infiniband QDR (229 nodes)
storage 60 TB High-performance parallel file system
and 55 TB ZFS storage
operating system Scientific Linux SL rel. 5.5
scheduling Sun Grid Engine


Installed Software:

System software

  • Scientific Linux 5.5 operating system
  • Sun Grid Engine queueingsystem
  • m(va)pich and open MPI parallel environment
  • Centralized installation and package management
  • GNU and Intel compilers for C++ and Fortran
  • various mathematical libraries

Application software

  • MICRESS Microstructure Evolution Simulation Software
  • DICTRA Computational Kinetics, Phase Transformations
  • ThermocalcComputational Thermodynamics
  • VASP Density Functional Theory calculations

Vulcan in the roman and greek mythology

Vulcan was the ancient roman (greek: Hephaestus) god of technology, blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes. As the son of Jupiter, the king of the gods, and Juno, the queen of the gods, Vulcan should have been quite handsome, but baby Vulcan was small and ugly with a red, bawling face. Juno was so horrified that she hurled the tiny baby off the top of Mount Olympus. Vulcan fell down for a day and a night, landing in the sea. Unfortunately, one of his legs broke as he hit the water, and never developed properly. From the surface, Vulcan sunk like a pebble to the cool blue depths where the sea-nymph, Thetis, found him, took him to her underwater grotto and raised him as her own son. Late in his childhood he found the remains of a fisherman’s fire on the beach and became fascinated with an unextinguished coal, still red-hot and glowing. Vulcan carefully shut this precious coal in a clamshell and took it back to his underwater grotto and made a fire with it. On the first day Vulcan stared at this fire for hours on end. On the second day, he discovered that when he made the fire hotter with bellows, certain stones sweated iron, silver or gold. On the third day he beat the cooled metal into shapes: bracelets, chains, swords and shields. Vulcan made pearl-handled knives and spoons for his foster mother, he made a silver chariot for himself and bridles so that seahorses could transport him quickly.

Vulcan: painting by
Peter Paul Rubens.
17th century.