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October 30, 2015

Elephant sized supercomputer to make Met Office £2bn

News: Cray supercomputer services will be delivered via the web.

By James Nunns

The Met Office will offer supercomputing services to the private sector as part of plans to raise £2bn.

The service will be delivered over the web using a Cray supercomputer that cost £97m, the Cray XC40.

Most of the revenue (£933m) is expected to come from companies that are working to predict elements of climate change, while £526m will be raised by providing services to the renewable energy sector.

Additional interest could be seen in the aviation industry to better forecast the weather and in private industries to facilitate better flooding-prevention.

The extra revenue generated is expected to head back into the UK Treasury between 2016-2020.

The Cray supercomputer, when fully up and running, will be able to perform over 23,000 trillion calculations per second, which equates to 16 petaflops.

Based in Exeter, it will weigh 140 tonnes, or the equivalent to 11 double decker buses, or just over 25 male African Elephants.

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Cray XC40 supercomputers are integrated with Aries system interconnect; a Dragonfly network topology; DataWarp applications I/O accelerator technology; cooling systems; the next-generation Cray Linux Environment Cray’s HPC optimised programming environment.

The Met Office lost the contract to provide forecasting services for the BBC in August, a service that had been provided since the 1920’s.

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