Adelaide Uni spends $1 million on upgrading supercomputer

The University of Adelaide is investing $1 million to boost the performance of its supercomputer.

The university originally launched the 300 teraflop ‘Phoenix’ supercomputer in early 2016. At launch, Phoenix, which is based on a Lenovo NeXtScale System M5 cluster, had 3800 processor cores and more than 15TB of memory.

(The rollout of Phoenix was overseen by the university’s first chief information officer, Mark Gregory, who has since shifted to Flinders University where he took on the role of vice-president, corporate services.)

When it launched the system was part of the Top500 list, but it has since dropped off (the slowest supercomputer on the list delivers 432.2 teraflops when benchmarked with LINPACK).

Adelaide Uni said today that it would double Phoenix’s storage to 700 terabytes and boost processing speed by 50 per cent to 450 teraflops.

The university said that demand has grown by 300 per cent since the supercomputer launched. Some 30 new researches are using Phoenix-provided HPC services every month, according to the university.

“With the rising complexity of research, high performance computing power is an essential tool for our researchers and collaborators to keep producing world-class research and innovation,” interim vice-chancellor Professor Mike Brooks said.

“We’ve seen that not only is demand for computational support increasing rapidly, users are becoming more diverse, with significant take-up in the arts and professions.”

“Already we’ve seen that HPC has dramatically lifted research performance and assisted in attracting computational researchers, international collaborations and industry partnerships,” Brooks said.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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