New supercomputer to boost Aussie research (updated)

$15 million, 140 teraflops Sun Constellation launched at ANU

Australia's newest and most powerful supercomputer, set to rocket into the world's top 40, will be launched in Canberra today.

The $15 million, 140 Teraflop Sun Constellation, housed at the Australian National University (ANU), will boost Australia’s computational research capability into world rankings.

The facility will be operated by National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), an initiative jointly funded by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science, and Research, and by the co-investment of partner organisations, including ANU and CSIRO.

The supercomputer has "180 Sun Blade x6275 Server Modules implemented in two compute racks" that will be expanded to 14 racks by the end of the year. According to a statement, the total system, "which also leverages the Sun Lustre Storage System and the Sun Datacenter InfiniBand Switch 648, will be capable of 140 Teraflops".

NCI Director, Professor Lindsay Botten said the supercomputer is a vital addition to Australia’s computational research capability.

“Australia’s now back in business in the high-performance computing league,” he said.

“It does everything from computational biology, computational chemistry, nanotechnology, astronomy, physics and photonics, medicine, engineering, and environmental science.”

Sun Constellation fast facts:
  • Processing speed is one-seventh of a petaflops

  • Rate of energy consumption is 604 kilowatts

  • 36 terabytes of memory

  • Each rack (25 in total) weighs one tonne

Botten said a myriad of NCI research projects will also benefit from the new facility.

Plans are also underway for the next-generation machine to be launched in 2011, which has already been boosted by $50 million Commonwealth funding.

The next-generation machine is planned to be one or two petaflops.

The CSIRO and ANU will each be granted 25 per cent use of the supercomputer. The Commonwealth Government will gain access to 45 percent of the supercomputer and will divvy out use through a merit allocation scheme, while the remaining five per cent is for smaller partners.

Sign up for Computerworld's newsletters to stay up to date.

Got more on this story?Email Computerworld or follow @computerworldau on Twitter and let us know.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags National Computational Infrastructure (NCI)supercomputingSun ConstellationANU

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Kathryn Edwards

Computerworld

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?