Feeds

Murchison adds astronomical cluster

Linux GPU lovin’ for WA’s widefield radiotelescope

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Hard on the heels of yesterday’s win for Cray at The Pawsey Centre, the Murchison widefield array in Western Australia is pulling in some new iron in the form of a high-powered Linux cluster from IBM.

As previously noted in The Register, modern radioastronomy poses a considerable computing challenge: it generates too much data to be stored in raw form. To help deal with this, processing near the instrument site is needed to thin out the data.

The new machine, a cluster of 24 IBM iDataPlex dx360 M3 processors, will turn Murchison’s raw radio signals into wide-field sky images, which will then be sent down a 10 Gbps link to the Pawsey Centre in Perth for analysis by astronomers.

The array replaces Murchison’s current custom-built FPGA-based processing environment. The processor needs to integrate data from the site’s 4,096 dipole antennas, which means it will have to cope with processing 50 TB of observation data each day, at a rate of 8 GB per second.

To get a handle on the scope of the challenge: the signal correlation performed at Murchison involves combining 500,000 signal pairs, producing 3 billion “visibility points” per second. GPU-based processing has long been on the menu for the facility, which published this document in 2009 detailing its proposed approaches.

Each of the dx360s will be configured with dual Xeon processors and two NVIDIA Tesla GPUs, and will have 15 PB of local storage.

The remote Murchison widefield array is designed to sniff out lower-frequency signals from the early universe, to try and gain insights into the formation of the first stars and galaxies. As work proceeds on the Square Kilometer Array (earlier this year split between Australia and South Africa), Murchison will also host much of Australia’s SKA infrastructure. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
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
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.