Feeds

More Bull grunt for Blighty's atom-bomb factory

Xeon drives UK, French nukes: US favouring Opteron

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

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). ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.