[LINK] ANU computer, 140 teraflops/second
stephen at melbpc.org.au
stephen at melbpc.org.au
Fri Mar 20 00:15:29 EST 2009
Weather supercomputer announced for BOM and ANU
By Chloe Lake, Technology Editor NEWS.com.au March 19, 2009 10:45am
A $30 million, four-year project to create Australia's biggest weather
computer is underway.
The new supercomputing system, being built for the Bureau of Meteorology
(BOM) and Australian National University (ANU), will make weather
predictions more accurate.
The BOM machine will have the capacity to make about 1.5 trillion complex
weather calculations a second as it crunches through weather data from
around the country.
It is expected to provide vital information for future firefighting
efforts, and will also help predict climate change in the region.
"I think the biggest impact that people will see in the shorter term is
that the accuracy of the shorter-term forecasts - days one to four, or
five will get better," Chris Ryan, head of the Bureau's National
Meteorological and Oceanographic Centre, told news.com.au.
"That means that as we saw in the bushfires on the 7th of February
forecast of the wind speed and the changes will be accurate enough to
enable planning by people like the firefighters to take more trust in our
forecasts and deploy their resources more efficiently."
The BOM's supercomputer will start operating at a massive 50 teraflops
per second, according to the Bureau's chief information officer Phil
Tannenbaum. "The average computer at home can do maybe... a few billion
at most," he said.
What you can do on a supercomputer in an hour is what you can do in a
decade with a roomful of desktop machines."
The machine, built by Sun Microsystems, will work in tandem with a more
powerful twin based in the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), a
Government-funded research section of the Australian National University
The ANU machine, which will run at 140 teraflops per second, will be
among the world's top 30 high performance computing systems.
As well as calculating climate change with international organisations,
the supercomputer will be used in research by Australias science
Director of NCI Professor Lindsay Botten said it would be used for
nanotechnology, photonics, astronomy, and chemistry..
The news comes as IBM is reportedly in takeover talks with the machine's
maker Sun Microsystems, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The supercomputing system will be ready by the end of the year.
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