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Minister Launches Next Generation of Supercomputers for UK Researchers

University of Edinburgh (02/13/12)

 The University of Edinburgh’s Advanced Computing Facility recently launched the High-End Computing Terascale Resources (HECToR) and BlueGene/Q, two supercomputers that can deliver complex computer simulations in a range of scientific fields.  The computers’ capacity and performance will help United Kingdom (U.K.) researchers study climate change, the fundamental structure of matter, fluctuations in ocean currents, projecting the spread of epidemics, designing new materials, the structure and evolution of the universe, and developing new medicinal drugs.  The supercomputers “will provide U.K. businesses and researchers with the technology they need to compete successfully on a global scale,” says Minister for Universities & Science David Willetts.  “HECToR and BlueGene/Q will each play a significant role in facilitating ground-breaking research across many areas of science, with tremendous benefits for society,” says Edinburgh professor Sir Timothy O’Shea.  Both the BlueGene/Q and HECToR facilities have about 800 teraflops of computational power.  HECToR uses the latest Bulldozer multicore processor architecture, which allows twice the performance over the old architecture.  BlueGene/Q can perform the calculation of 100 laptops using the same level of electricity used to power a light bulb.

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