New supercomputer to boost Australia’s scientific capability

August 11, 2010

A new supercomputer that will boost Australia’s scientific capability will be housed at Murdoch University’s South Street campus as part of Western Australia’s $80 million Pawsey Centre.

Murdoch’s Director of the Centre for Comparative Genomics, Professor Matthew Bellgard said that the Hewlett-Packard (HP) supercomputer consists of 9600 processing units and 500 Terabytes of high performance storage.

This will provide a very significant increase in the computer resources available to national scientists working across a number of areas including radioastronomy, nanoscience, geoscience and life science.

"The supercomputer will be connected to the iVEC network and will operate at 10 gigabits per second ensuring exceptional high speed connectivity," he said.

"The ever increasing amount of data generated from scientific research has increased demands on information technology systems.

"The new supercomputer makes a quantum leap in terms of the speed at which researchers will be able to process data."

iVEC Chief Executive Officer, Professor Andrew Rohl, said that the supercomputer will result in a twenty times increase in iVEC’s supercomputing capability and once deployed will be one of the most powerful supercomputers in Australia.

"The supercomputer is part of the Commonwealth government’s $1.1 billion Super Science Initiative to make Australia internationally competitive," Professor Rohl said.

The purchase of this 100 Teraflop supercomputer will provide for world-class supercomputing expertise amongst high-end research users.

The new supercomputer will be housed at Murdoch’s South Street campus in a self contained energy efficient module from HP known as a POD.

The supercomputer will be commissioned in October this year, complementing the $1 million iVEC computing and visualisation infrastructure already housed at the Centre for Comparative Genomics.

iVEC is a unincorporated joint venture of CSIRO, Murdoch University, University of Western Australia, Curtin University and Edith Cowan University. It fosters and promotes scientific and technological innovation through the provision of supercomputing and eResearch services to the research community, commercial organisations and government agencies.

The Pawsey Centre was officially launched by Senator Kim Carr, Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research on August 29, 2009, and is expected to be amongst the top 20 supercomputers in the world at the time of its commissioning in 2013.

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Media contact: Jo Manning
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