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New Supercomputer Emerald unveiled at RAL


Emerald GPU cluster

The UK's most powerful GPU-based supercomputer, "Emerald", has been unveiled at the Science and Technology Facilities Council's (STFC) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL).

RAL will host and operate Emerald, a GPGPU system that utilises NVIDIA's Tesla accelerator technology, alongside the "Iridis 3" system being hosted by the University of Southampton.

Combined these two High Performance Computing systems will give businesses and academics unprecedented access to a super-fast processing capability.

Using the newly-available technology researchers will soon tackle areas ranging from healthcare (Tamiflu and swine flu); astrophysics (real-time pulsar detection application for the forthcoming Square Kilometre Array Project to deploy the world's most powerful radio telescope), bioinformatics (analysis and statistical modelling of whole-genome sequencing data); climate change modelling; complex engineering systems; simulating 3G and 4G communications networks and developing new tools for processing and managing medical images.

The unveiling of Emerald also marked the official launch of the e-Infrastructure South Consortium which comprises four of the UK's leading universities - Bristol, Oxford, University College London and Southampton. The Consortium has collaborated with the Department of Scientific Computing at RAL to form the e-infrastructure South Centre for Innovation which will own and operate both supercomputers. The Consortium will also share access between the partners, providing an infrastructure for the development of data-driven applications, simulation and software as well as training to create the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Both supercomputers have been funded by a £3.7 million grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC (link opens in a new window)), part of a £145 million Government investment in e-infrastructure.

Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts MP said: "These two new supercomputers form part of the Government's £145 million investment in e-infrastructure and will be invaluable assets to business and universities. They will drive growth and innovation, encourage inward investment in the UK and keep us at the very leading edge of science."

Local businesses that will benefit from use of the supercomputers include Numerical Algorithms Group Ltd, Schlumberger Abingdon and InhibOx.




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Last updated: 12 July 2012


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