The 2016 expansion to the Raijin supercomputer has provided a 40% increase to the supercomputer's computational power.
NCI Australia's Raijin supercomputer is once again the Southern Hemisphere's fastest, as announced in the international Top500 list overnight at the International Supercomputing Conference 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany.
The Top500 list, published twice a year at the major supercomputing conferences in June and November, is a ranking of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. It has catalogued the progress of the peak of world computing since 1993, when the top machine was less powerful than today's smartphones. Currently, the fastest supercomputer in the world is the Chinese Sunway TaihuLight computer. Its performance of 93 Petaflops gives it the capacity to perform 93 quadrillion calculations per second. NCI's Raijin supercomputer comes in at number 70 with a measured performance of 1.67 Petaflops.
The much-needed support from the Australian Government's NCRIS Agility Fund in the second half of 2016 allowed NCI to purchase an expansion to the original Raijin supercomputer launched in 2012. The $7 million expansion provided a 40% increase to the supercomputer's computational power, which is enabling the work of hundreds of Australian researchers every day. This expansion will help prolong the life of the aging equipment until its scheduled replacement at the end of 2018.
NCI is a formal collaboration between The Australian National University, CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience Australia, as well as 35 other universities and medical research institutes around the country. The partners conduct research covering every scientific discipline, from the smallest quantum simulations to the biggest astronomical modelling and everything in between.
The work of NCI and its team of expert computational staff is critical to all areas of Australian research, including health, environment and materials design. In particular, the development of Australia's national weather and climate forecasting model, and the associated data storage, is a major research activity at NCI.
NCI is one of the few supercomputing facilities around the world to integrate data and compute infrastructure at a fundamental level. This removes many obstacles to research and allows petabytes of data to be efficiently used and securely stored at NCI. It also allows NCI to provide tools and software support for researchers to access and analyse complex datasets in new ways.
The supercomputer's approximately 85,000 cores, 300 Terabytes of main memory and 50 Petabytes of high-performance data storage provide a peak measured performance of 1.67 Petaflops, comparable to about 40,000 desktop computers working simultaneously. Click here for more details about NCI's high-performance computing infrastructure.