UK's most powerful GPU-accelerated supercomputer deployed
The University of Oxford and a group of top academic institutions in the United Kingdom have deployed the nation's most powerful GPU-accelerated supercomputer.
Dubbed "Emerald," the 84-node computer cluster will allow advanced research across a range of scientific and engineering fields.
“The Emerald supercomputer forms part of the government’s £145-million investment in einfrastructure and will be an invaluable asset to business and universities. It will drive growth and innovation, encourage inward investment in the UK and keep us at the very leading edge of science,” said David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science.
Unveiled at the new Center for Innovation in High Performance Computing (HPC) at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Didcot, “Emerald” has 372 Nvidia Tesla M2090 GPUs, delivering more than 114 teraflops of performance.
It was developed to enable scientists and engineers from across the United Kingdom to accelerate computationally intensive research in fields like astrophysics, bioinformatics, chemistry, engineering, genomics, life sciences, nanotechnology, and physics.
The Center for Innovation in High Performance Computing was established by the e-Infrastructure South Consortium, which includes the Universities of Oxford, Bristol, and Southampton and University College London.
It provides the infrastructure for the development of scientific and engineering applications, and will enable the training of HPC scientists and engineers.
"Emerald" and other computing systems were funded as part of a £3.7-million ($5.8-million) grant from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
Meanwhile, Nvidia named the University of Oxford a CUDA Center of Excellence for its ongoing work in parallel computing research and education using Nvidia GPUs and the NVIDIA CUDA parallel programming environment.
CUDA is Nvidia's parallel computing environment, which enables dramatic increases in computing performance by harnessing the power of GPUs.
"A world leader in genetics, mathematics, scientific computing, and the physical and life sciences, Oxford joins 18 elite institutions that have demonstrated a unique vision for improving the technology and application of parallel computing, and are empowering academics and scientists
to conduct world-changing research," Nvidia said.
It said Oxford as a CUDA Center of Excellence will utilize equipment and grants provided by Nvidia to support a number of research and academic programs across its mathematics, physical and life sciences divisions, including:
- Astrophysics: real-time pulsar detection application for the forthcoming Square Kilometre Array Project to deploy the world’s most powerful radio telescope
- Bioinformatics: analysis and statistical modeling of whole-genome sequencing data
- Chemistry: molecular dynamics simulations of key DNA nanotechnology mechanisms
“The CUDA Center of Excellence award reflects Oxford’s strength in scientific computing, as well as the success of OeRC in developing and championing new approaches to computing, while working with application specialists across the university to bring these benefits to their research,” said Professor Anne Trefethen, chief information officer at the University of Oxford.
Trefethen added that with Nvidia's support, "we can continue to enhance our undergraduate projects and summer bursaries focused on GPU computing, and develop new programs to reach larger numbers of researchers and students.”
The CUDA Center of Excellence program recognizes, rewards and fosters collaboration with leading institutions at the forefront of parallel computing research. — TJD, GMA News
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