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Monday, 16 November 2009 11:58

Aussie gets fair dinkum supercomputer

Written by Nick Farell

Image

Toss some petaflops onto the barbie


Australia
is celebrating the fact it has finally become a supercomputer superpower after buying one of the top 50 computers in the world.

The supercomputer, jointly funded by the Australian National University, the CSIRO and the federal government, was officially launched by Science Minister Kim Carr at its new home today. The supercomputer will be operated by National Computational Infrastructure and director Lindsay Botten who said that the next generation research supercomputer will boost Australia's computational research capacity into world ranking.

The computer provides 12 times more than its predecessor the four year old obsolete SGI Altix 3700. Dubbed the Vayu, is a Sun Microsystems Constellation class supercomputer and is due to be up and running at full capacity in December.

It contains 11,936 processing cores, so you can think of that as roughly 6000 home PCs. There is 36 terabytes of memory and 500-600 terabytes of storage. The Vayu is capable of operating at 140 teraflops, which relates to the speed at which it makes so-called "floating point" calculations.

Nick Farell

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