Australian Scientists Need A New Supercomputer

Image: CSIRO

CSIRO needs some more teraflops. Australia's peak scientific research organisation has just put out a tender for a petaflop-grade supercomputer to replace the Bragg accelerator cluster that contributes to Australia's overall scientific distributed computing power.

The AusTender page lists CSIRO as searching for proposals from service providers for a new advanced accelerator cluster for scientific research computing, with the tender process open until Monday 19 December.

According to CSIRO, the new system will have a $4 million budget including support for three years from the successful bidder, and will be used for a variety of high-performance computing tasks including "data analysis, modelling, and simulation in a variety of science domains, such as biophysics, material science, molecular modelling, marine science, geochemical modelling, computational fluid dynamics, and more recently, artificial intelligence and data analytics using deep learning."

When Bragg was launched in 2012, it hit 156 in the Top500 list of supercomputers around the world, and in 2014 rated as high as seventh place on the Green500 list of efficient supercomputers in terms of compute performance per Watt. Bragg is located in Canberra, and uses 128 dual 8-core Xeon CPUs -- 2048 in total -- with 384 Nvidia Tesla K20 GPGPUs and a total of 16384GB of RAM across all machines.

CSIRO wants the same to be true of its replacement machine, with the CSIRO Procurement Office saying it expects the new system to reach petaflop levels of performance while also ranking highly on the Green500 list. [CSIRO]