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Pawsey Supercomputing Centre achieves Petascale capability

Pawsey Supercomputing Centre achieves Petascale capability

Perth-based supercomputer makes use of Intel’s latest Xeon processor.

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre has completed the final upgrade of its Magnus supercomputer, making it the most advanced scientific supercomputer in the southern hemisphere.

The upgrade means the system is capable of processing power in excess of a petaflop (one quadrillion floating point operations per second), pushing it into the Petascale category.

Pawsey Supercomputing Centre executive director, Neil Stringfellow, said the Perth-based facility turned to Cray’s flagship XC30 system for the Petascale implementation.

“They have good experience in developing Intel QuickPath Interconnect technologies, as well as in cooling and software,” he said.

Cray’s XC30 system comes with 35,000 cores based on Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v3 product family (formerly codenamed Haswell).

Processing at the core

When it came to upgrading Magnus, Stringfellow said the supercomputing facility explored various architectures and their possibilities.

Read more: Dell adopts Xeon E5 v3 for software-defined storage and beyond

“He looked at GPUs, as some people use it very well, but in the end we returned to CPUs and Intel’s new Xeon E5 processor,” he said.

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre has been operating since November 2013, and is a joint collaboration between the four public Western Australian universities and CSIRO.

Named after pioneering Australian radio astronomer, Joe Pawsey, it was established to carry out SKA (Square Kilometre Array) pathfinder research, geosciences and other high-end science calculations.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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