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Fujitsu Re-Enters UK Supercomputing Market

Kick starts ambitions with a flagship £15m partnership with HPC Wales to shape a prosperous future for the region

Fujitsu UK & Ireland

March 22, 2011

Fujitsu is re-entering the high performance computing (HPC) market in the UK after 10 years, with an ambition to be a leading player in this exciting field. The company believes that the HPC market is changing dramatically and that the time is now right to capitalise on its heritage and breadth of capability, ie research, network infrastructure and data centres, to enable a wider set of organisations to benefit from the commercial opportunities realised through high performance computing.

As the first step to fulfil its ambitions, Fujitsu today announced it has won a four-year £15m project to provide a distributed grid for HPC Wales with the two primary hubs being Cardiff and Pembroke Dock. HPC Wales is an initiative announced in July 2010 which will enable Wales to be at the forefront of supercomputing. It has the full backing of the Welsh Assembly Government as a vehicle to improve the economic development and use of technology in the region. Fujitsu was chosen as the technology partner for the initiative because of its breadth of capability, focus on innovation and heritage in supercomputing in Japan.

HPC Wales is expected to bring an additional economic impact of £22.8m over 10 years; create 400+ quality jobs, and create a minimum of 10 new businesses.

As part of the project Fujitsu will undertake collaborative research with HPC Wales to advance the use of HPC in priority areas such as the environment, low-carbon energy generation, the life sciences, advanced materials and manufacturing. This collaboration will utilise the skills and expertise of Fujitsu Laboratories globally.

President of the Technical Computing Solutions Unit at Fujitsu Limited, Masahiko Yamada, said: "We are proud to be part an initiative that is shaping the Wales of tomorrow. By working in partnership with HPC Wales and investing together in key research areas we can deliver innovation outputs that have sustained economic value."

Commenting on Fujitsu's plans for HPC, Roger Gilbert, CEO Fujitsu UK & Ireland, said: "Supercomputing is entering a very exciting phase in its development as computers are now being used to perform 'thinking' tasks rather than just 'managing' tasks across an increasingly broad set of private and public sector applications. Private sector organisations are realising the commercial and competitive advantages that these technologies can bring – whether it be, for example, accelerated product design and development, workflow simulation or pharmaceutical research and development.

Gilbert continued: "Our work with HPC Wales will be one of the most significant enterprise-class grid systems in Europe today and will be Fujitsu's largest HPC project in Europe. What's key for us is that HPC is no longer all about tera- and petaflop ratings alone, rather it is about what the HPC capability is used to achieve and ultimately what impact it has more directly to society and business. We're confident that our work with HPC Wales will bring significant technology, skills, research, jobs and economic development to the region."

Lesley Griffiths, deputy minister for science, innovation and skills with the Welsh Assembly Government added: "The scale of the project is vast and will reach all four corners of Wales. High performance computing will put Wales right up there as an international player in the world of computational research. The technology will be used to model and solve problems and HPC Wales will deliver the capacity to handle and analyse mind-boggling amounts of data at high speed. HPC Wales is a major investment, an extremely ambitious undertaking with the potential to bring about real change. It will have a significant impact on the economy, on research, on driving innovation and competitiveness and high-level skills development."

The HPC Wales project will include 1400 nodes deployed in a range of academic sites across Wales, including Swansea, Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Bangor, Glamorgan, Swansea Met, Newport, Glyndwr and a range of other sites. The system will facilitate the use of complex technology by both private and public organisations via a portal, making it easy to use computers to resolve complex problems in terms of engineering, design, creative production and scientific research. The key to HPC Wales will be to allow more Welsh Enterprises to do complex work in an uncomplicated way.

Organisations interested in accessing the supercomputing power of HPC Wales can go to the HPC Wales website.

  • The HPC Wales project will include over 1400 nodes across more than eight linked sites
  • The aggregated performance of compute nodes is more than 190 TFlops
  • The system consists mainly of Fujitsu Primergy cluster servers based on Intel Xeon and InfiniBand interconnect with Linux and Windows operating systems
  • To realise a distributed HPC infrastructure, each system is interconnected with Fujitsu's middleware technology SynfiniWay
  • Fujitsu developed Japan's first supercomputer, the FACOM 230-75APU in 1977 and continued leading the HPC market for over 30 years. It provides a broad range of computing products such as x86-based clusters, large-scale SMP servers, software and solutions to meet comprehensive HPC requirements
  • Fujitsu is developing the "K computer," Japan's Next-Generation Supercomputer with RIKEN, a leading scientific research institution under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. This is a central part of Japan's prominent initiative to establish the High-Performance Computing Infrastructure including strategic research projects
  • HPC Wales was announced in July 2010 and is expected to be operational before the end of 2011
  • It is funded by:
    • £19m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF) channelled through the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), an executive agency of the National Assembly for Wales
    • £10m from the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
    • £4m from collaborating institutions.
    • £5m from the Welsh Assembly Government and private sector and research income.
  • The £40m investment will cover equipment, management and operational costs over the first five years to 2015
  • Hubs will be in Cardiff and Swansea/Pembroke Dock. They will be linked to spokes at Swansea, Aberystwyth, Bangor and the University of Glamorgan, with further links to University of Wales Alliance of Universities and business innovation centres throughout Wales
  • Fujitsu will be working in a partner eco-system to deliver the HPC Wales project – including Intel, Platform Computing, Microsoft, Mellanox, DDN, Cisco and Symantec
  • HPC Wales is managed by a charitable, not-for-profit organisation set up by the St David's Day Group of Universities and the University of Wales

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Over 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$54 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012. For more information, please see:

Fujitsu UK and Ireland is a leading IT systems, services and products company employing 11,400 people with an annual revenue of £1.7 billion. Its business is in enabling its customers to realise their objectives by exploiting information technology through its integrated product and service portfolio. This includes consulting, applications, systems integration, managed services and product for customers in the private and public sectors including retail, financial services, telecoms, government, defence and consumer sectors. For more information, please see:

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Date: 22 March, 2011