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HPC Wales: A national platform for high-performance IT

HPC Wales

Bringing HPC to a broader base

The Welsh Government and universities in Wales wanted to create a world-class high-performance computing (HPC) network, a research and innovation institute and a skills academy. The objective was to bring supercomputing capabilities to a broader base of research institutions and businesses across what is an increasingly technology-driven economy. The scale and distributed nature of the undertaking, combined with its open access to business, makes HPC Wales unique and unprecedented in the UK and the rest of Europe. The Welsh universities selected Fujitsu to provide the hardware infrastructure for this UK and EU-backed project.

Dynamic, distributed architecture

HPC Wales' £40 million ($62m) funding will enable 1,400 nodes across a number of linked sites, with an aggregated performance of more than 190 teraflops. The system will be powered mainly by Fujitsu PRIMERGY cluster servers. The project's first phase was completed in 2011, and infrastructure in place at several locations across Wales will give HPC Wales capacity for about 100 major research projects during 2012. Phase two will follow in 2012, increasing capacity by about tenfold. The uniquely distributed nature of the HPC grid infrastructure means multiple sites can use each other's capability in a very dynamic way.

Supercomputing with an affordable price tag

HPC Wales is creating a leading international center for specialist computational research. Offering a customer-oriented service, it brings supercomputing abilities to organizations that wouldn't otherwise be able to afford such high-tech infrastructure. HPC Wales will put high-performance computing to work on a variety of academic, scientific and commercial projects in the following priority areas:

  • Low carbon innovation
    For example, the modeling of weather patterns and climate change, the development of climate-resistant crops, research into efficient energy development and renewables.
  • Engineering and manufacturing innovation
    For example, simulation, prototyping and modeling, new product design, project management techniques, quality control analysis, the development of advanced materials.
  • Health and bioscience innovation
    For example, genetics research, modeling to replace physical testing/food safety testing, remote surgery techniques.
  • Digital innovation
    For example, creative design, supply chain/customer service improvements, animated graphics.