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December 16, 2013

Southampton University commissions ‘Iridis4’ supercomputer

The new £3.2m supercomputer is claimed to be one of the most powerful in Britain.

By CBR Staff Writer

The University of Southampton in the UK has commissioned a new £3.2m supercomputer dubbed ‘Iridis4’, which is claimed to be one of the most powerful in Britain.

Incorporating 12,200 processors, with each capable of executing a trillion calculations per second, the new supercomputer would be used for range of research, including engineering, archaeology and medicine, in addition to computer science.

University of Southampton pro vice-chancellor Prof Philip Nelson told the BBC that staying ahead of the game in high performance computing [HPC] is vital to help the university stay competitive.

"Simulation and computation enabled by HPC are recognised globally as the third pillar of modern research and this investment will ensure we remain world leaders in this field," Nelson said.

The new supercomputer is powered by IBM Intelligent Cluster solutions and designed, integrated and supported by HPC, data management, storage and analytics company OCF.

It will be four times more powerful than its predecessor Iridis3 and has 12, 200 Intel Xeon E5-2670 processor cores, a petabyte (or one-million gigabytes) of disc space, with 50 terabytes of memory.

The most powerful supercomputer is deployed at the Science and Technology Facilities Council in Warrington, with the others commissioned at the University of Edinburgh, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and the United Kingdom Meteorological Office.

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According to the Top 500 list of the globe’s fastest and most powerful supercomputers, the Tianhe-2, built by China’s National University of Defence Technology (NUDT), has topped the list of world’s fastest supercomputers.

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