Edinburgh to host 60-teraflop super-computer

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Edinburgh to host 60-teraflop super-computer

Cray's HECToR heads for the highlands.

Edinburgh University's Advanced Computing Facility is to host one of the UK's most advanced super-computers.

The High End Computing Terascale Resource (HECToR) is a vast computing facility built by US company Cray. The machine will be paid for by the UK Research Councils and is expected to cost £113m ($282.5m). 

HECToR will be installed at the Edinburgh Technopole estate in Midlothian and is planned to last for six years after it begins work in October.

Professor Arthur Trew, director of the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC) which will operate the facility, said: "Traditionally progress in science has been made through theory and experiment, but an increasing range of problems now needs to be simulated computationally."

The new XT4-based system has a peak performance of around 60 teraflops and is three times faster than HPCX, the existing super-computer used for academic research which is also run by the EPCC.

HECToR will be used in a wide variety of scientific applications, including climate modelling, design of new materials, understanding sub-nuclear particles and the evolution of the universe.

"HECToR is critical for UK scientists to compete internationally, and we are delighted that EPCC has again been chosen to manage this facility," said Professor Trew. "The choice of Edinburgh demonstrates the University's leadership in the field."

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