03 July 2012

UK’s most powerful gpu based supercomputer enters service today

The UK's most powerful gpu based supercomputer, Emerald, will enter service today alongside the Iridis 3 system. Using the newly available processing technology, researchers will tackle areas ranging from complex engineering systems, to simulating 3G and 4G communications networks.

Both supercomputers will be unveiled today at the Science and Technology Facilities Council's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), which will host and operate Emerald, a GPGPU system utilising NVIDIA's Tesla accelerator technology. Iridis 3 is being hosted by the University of Southampton.

The occasion also marks the launch of the e-Infrastructure South Consortium, which comprises a group of the UK's leading universities. The consortium has collaborated with the Department of Scientific Computing at RAL to form the e-infrastructure South Centre for Innovation which will own and operate both supercomputers.

The consortium will also share access between the partners, providing an infrastructure for the development of data driven applications, simulation and software as well as training to create the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Both supercomputers have been funded by a £3.7million grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of a £145m government investment in e-infrastructure.

Dr Lesley Thompson, director of EPSRC's research base said: "High performance computers based within the consortium's research intensive universities will enable better training and recruitment of world class research talent, help develop new research ideas, and speed up the rate at which complex data can be processed. These new supercomputers are crucial to maintaining the UK's leading science base and underpinning our national competitiveness and economic recovery."

In other supercomputer news, Eurotech has announced a co design agreement with CINECA – a consortium of Italian universities – for the development and installation of a high performance computer prototype called Eurora. According to CINECA, it will represent the first step towards the creation of a 'datacentric exascale lab' in Italy. Like other Eurotech systems, the components will be hot water cooled with a focus on energy efficiency.

Author
Simon Fogg

Supporting Information

Websites
http://www.epsrc.ac.uk

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