Bristol University unveils £7m supercomputer

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The University of Bristol has taken the wraps off a £7m supercomputer known as 'BlueCrystal' which will assist research on climate change, drug design and aerospace engineering..

BlueCrystal is capable of more than 37 trillion calculations a second, and is the result of a collaboration between various companies including IBM and ClearSpeed.

The supercomputer will support 160 researchers across the University, and help climatologists in the school of geographical sciences to monitor ice sheets in the Antarctic.

Other beneficiaries include technicians in the department of biochemistry searching for anti-cancer drugs aimed at preventing secondary tumours developing from breast cancer.

Computational modelling should help the department's researchers save time by screening for suitable compounds, rather than undertaking exhaustive screening processes in the laboratory.

"Serious research in many disciplines can no longer be undertaken without high performance computing, and the University has recognised this through its investment in BlueCrystal," said Dr Ian Stewart, director of Bristol's advanced computing research centre.

"HPC-based research contributes significantly to University research income and will play an increasingly important role in teaching."
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