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February 08, 2011
Advanced imaging facilities at the the Australian Synchrotron and Monash University will leverage the power of GPUs to provide scientists with near real-time processing and high-resolution output. IBM has been selected to provide two supercomputers to the Multi-modal Australian ScienceS Imaging and Visualisation Environment (MASSIVE) facility, a collaborative venture between Monash University and CSIRO. The systems are set for a March launch.
The two IBM iDataPlex clusters will share 1,008 CPU-cores and 168 NVIDIA M2070 GPUs. At launch, the systems will deliver 98 teraflops (49 teraflops each), but a planned upgrade for the second computer (MASSIVE2) in late 2011 will double its performance, leading to a combined output of 147 teraflops. According to IBM Australia's strategic initiatives executive Wayne Goss, both machines are expected to qualify for admittance to the TOP500 club.
Currently, the facilities are geared toward medical research, but Dr Andrew Peele, director of the Australian Synchrotron, reported that they will be made available to the greater scientific community by the year's end. Peele also explained that near real-time processing and atomic-level detail are what make MASSIVE so valuable as a research tool. For example, the computational muscle will help scientists understand lung development in premature babies.
Monash University's Dr Wojtek Goscinski also commented on the project, citing the center's "unique nature" and its "focus on imaging and visualization," which he believes will enhance the results and productivity of the synchrotron.
The undertaking will cost an estimated $8.3 million over the next three years with funding coming from several sources. The Victorian Government is investing $800,000, the Victorian Department of Industry Innovation and Regional Development is contributing $1.45 million, and the National Computing Initiative is putting up $1.2 million, with the remaining $4.8 million in costs divided among the project partners Monash University, the Australian Synchrotron, CSIRO and the Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing (VPAC). The installation, servicing and maintenance will be performed by VPAC.
Full story at ZDNet Australia
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