Melbourne to host Australia's largest supercomputer

 

The State of Victoria has invested $100 million in an effort to build Australia’s largest supercomputer and the world’s largest life sciences supercomputer facility.

A part of the Victorian Life Sciences Computation initiative, the supercomputer will be built at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville Precinct.

The Victorian Government will contribute $50 million to the initiative, complementing a similar contribution of $50 million from the University of Melbourne.

According to a spokesperson for Theo Theophanous, Minister for Information and Communication Technology, the majority of the Victorian Government’s contribution is expected to pay for computer hardware.

“We will build this computer in Melbourne to end the stream of scientists having to travel overseas to conduct this important research,” the spokesperson told iTnews.

When built, the new supercomputer is expected to operate at 400 teraFLOPS, which is ten times the speed of facilities at the University of California, San Diego.

The supercomputer is expected to assist in discovering cures and therapies for life-threatening diseases such as cancer, brain disorders and influenza pandemics by using large databases of genetic information and complex models of analysis of human systems.

The initiative was announced yesterday by the Victorian Premier John Brumby during his visit to the San Diego Supercomputing Center (SDSC) in the U.S.

“I am delighted to make this important announcement here at the University of California, San Diego,” he said, adding that the Victorian government is looking forward to collaborating with the SDSC and other U.S. research units in advancing disease research through high-performance computing.

"If you want the very best in cancer diagnosis, and want the very best in cancer treatment, you need a supercomputer,” he said.

“The one missing link in our life sciences initiative was a supercomputer facility, and now we will have not only the largest supercomputer in Australia, but the biggest life sciences supercomputer in the world.”

The University of Melbourne will release initial expressions of interest for the peak computing facility later this year, with major installations planned for 2009 and 2011.

Melbourne to host Australia's largest supercomputer
 
 
 
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