Hector - or High-End Computing Terascale Resources - will be used by researchers to forecast the impact of climate change, project the spread of epidemics and develop new drugs.
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The £113m machine is based at Edinburgh University's advanced computing facility at Edinburgh Technopole at Roslin, Midlothian.
The system will run for six years and will be operated by the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC), which is responsible for the provision of supercomputer services to universities.
Hector is capable of making 63m calculations a second and is the equivalent of about 12,000 desktop systems.