Australia’s most powerful supercomputer launched

anuThe Australian National University’s National Computation Infrastructure (NCI) computing centre has launched the country’s most powerful supercomputer today.

Powered by a whopping 57,472 Intel Sandy Bridge-class Xeon processors, each clocking at 2.6GHz, Raijin (named after the Japanese god of thunder) is capable of running at up to 1.2petaflops, which ANU says equates to 170,000 calculations for every person on earth each second, or the same number of calculations it would take seven billion people 20 years to perform on calculators.

Apart from keeping Intel’s fab labs in business with that many CPUs, the high-performance computer also features 160Tbytes of RAM and 10PBytes of storage. To put that into some perspective, that’s 160,000GB of RAM and 10,000,000GB of storage.

Australia’s most powerful supercomputer was jointly funded by ANU, CSIRO, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Geoscience Australia among other universities that perform research-intensive tasks backed by the Australian Research Council. According to the ANU, the ARC funding adds up to an extra $50million over four years.

The new computer will be used to run complex modelling, which ANU says might include looking to understand how to speed up photosynthesis of virtual crops or understand the dynamics of the world’s oceans and how they affect climate change.

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