The davinci-1 supercomputer in Genoa is the engine of Leonardo’s digital transformation process. It is the beating heart of the company, with more than 100 supercomputing units, for a total power of more than 5PFlops (5 million billion floating point operations per second). It also boasts a high-performance network and a cloud storage system equipped with the latest hardware and software technologies, for a storage capacity of around 20 million Gigabytes.
davinci-1, the world’s third most powerful supercomputer in the aerospace and defence sector, combines huge computing power with maximum flexibility. It thus allows the use of highly complex algorithms (from deep learning to artificial intelligence), customisation according to technology platform and calculation of the countless interactions existing between the data generated (data analysis and big data).
The davinci-1 was installed at the end of 2020 but only entered ‘production’ in March 2021, after the necessary testing, inspection and fine-tuning, so it is only at the dawn of its career. It has nonetheless already been used for major research and innovation projects. Also, in late 2021, it started ‘serving’ the Group’s engineering departments. The system was designed and conceived for maximum performance in developing digital twins and processing systems for big data, and for developing and ‘training’ artificial intelligence algorithms. In practice, davinci-1 can support the design of helicopters, aircraft or radar by cutting simulation times by a factor of ten (from days to hours) and increasing the accuracy of the simulations.
Thanks to the enormous amount of memory available in its calculation nodes, it can break down the digital model of a helicopter or aircraft into many small elements, thus enabling it to deliver a more detailed numerical result than is usually possible with ‘conventional’ instruments. Its use should also be noted in predictive maintenance, security and environmental monitoring applications, as well as purely civil applications such as weather forecasting. This is due to its great capacity for video and satellite image recognition. In short, davinci-1 is a genuine strategic enabler that has, and will increasingly have, broad transversal impacts on all Group activities.