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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
DEATH by COMMENTS: WordPress XSS vuln is BIGGEST for YEARS
Trio of XSS turns attackers into admins
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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?