Feeds

UK's supercomputers rev up to hit 800 teraflops

HECToR and BlueGene/Q to help look at climate data, sniff out Higgs boson

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The UK's supercomputing programme in Edinburgh enters its third stage this week, ramping up its capability to 800 trillion floating point operations per second.

Four years after their installation at Edinburgh Uni's Advanced Computing Facility in 2008, the two supercomputers – HECToR and BlueGene/Q – will achieve a combined capability 10 times what they were clocking at the start.

Built by US firm Cray, HECToR was the UK's only entry in the first top 50 of the world's top 500 supercomputers as ranked in 2011.

HECToR's data-digesting power has been used by scientists across the UK to crunch through projects as diverse as modelling dinosaur walks, predicting climate change and understanding air turbulence.

Minister for Universities and Science, David Willets said:

E-infrastructure is fundamental to modern research and development. It helps our world-leading science base achieve breakthroughs across a range of important disciplines and helps industry design and manufacture new products

Prof David Delpy of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which has pumped £13.9m into the project, said that the data-burning computer was vital to supporting "the development of science, discovery and new commercial partnerships".

HECToR's vast computing brains are packed into 30 cabinets in Edinburgh University. A further 10 cabinets contain the drives needed to store the computer's 1 petabyte of disk space. It claims to be the most energy-efficient super computer ever built – using the energy equivalent to that consumed by just one lightbulb to perform the calculations of 100 laptops.

The BlueGene/Q distributed computing project is used for particle and astro-physics calculations. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
VMware vaporises vCHS hybrid cloud service
AnD yEt mOre cRazy cAps to dEal wIth
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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
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.
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?