Feeds

More Bull grunt for Blighty's atom-bomb factory

Xeon drives UK, French nukes: US favouring Opteron

Build a business case: developing custom apps

French-centred IT provider Bull has announced an order from the UK's nuclear weapons apparatus for a third bullx supercomputer. The new "Blackthorn" machine will join two existing bullx "Willows" already in use by the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE).

"The contract with AWE is a clear demonstration of Bull's ability to deliver extreme computing technology to match the demands of the most exacting requirements of research, engineering and scientific computing environments," says Fabio Gallo, Bull Extreme Computing chief.

The new Blackthorn machine is one of the first supercomputer outings for Intel's six-core Xeon "Westmere" processor, some 2160 of which are included in the design on 1080 blades with 750 TB of storage. This delivers 145 teraflops of grunt, and AWE expect to use the new machine for large single projects that may take days to run.

With live nuclear testing now forbidden by international treaty, atom-bomb boffins worldwide need to run extremely processor-intensive simulations in order to design new weapons and form an idea of how reliable existing stocks will be over time. The most powerful known supercomputers now in existence reside within the US nuke apparatus - though lately, these have used Opteron and Cell processors rather than Intel's wares.

"This investment will ... underpin our continued ability to underwrite the safety and effectiveness of the Trident warhead in the Comprehensive Test Ban era," says Dr Graeme Nicholson, AWE's Director Science and Technology.

Bull also provides hefty computing for the French nuke programme, having recently supplied a petaflop-grade Tera 100 system (also Xeon based) to the Military Applications department of the Commissariat à l'énergie atomique (CEA). ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.