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Southampton University upgrades supercomputer for high performance computing research

Cliff Saran

The University of Southampton is part of a consortium creating a Centre of Innovation for the Application of High Performance Computing.

The University of Southampton, Bristol University, University of Oxford and University College London (UCL) are combining forces for the high-performance computing project.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has given the group £3.7 million. In collaboration with the e-Science Centre at Rutherford Appleton Laboratories (RAL), the consortium aims to share computing resources such as hardware, software applications, support services and skills around high-performance computing (HPC).

Oz Parchment, Southampton’s Director of Research Computing, says: “The vast majority of Southampton’s £2.2 million share is being used to upgrade the University’s Iridis3 supercomputer, which was ranked 74 in the world when it was first switched on in 2009.”  

A 12,000 core Intel Westmere-based general architecture/x86 based system is now being installed, giving it twice its original performance. Remaining funding will be used to support and run facilities for a year.

The EPSRC funding will also see the installation of a large architecture/GPU system based on 372 NVIDIA Telsa M2090 processors (the second largest of its type in Europe) at Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, near Oxford.

Professor Simon Cox, Associate Dean for Enterprise in Engineering and the Environment, adds: “Not only is this an excellent opportunity to pursue new research challenges, but also we will be using this facility for our extensive consultancy activities with small and large businesses.” 


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