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Agreement aiming for thousand-fold power increase

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The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has signed an agreement with Nvidia, the provider of visual and high-performance computing, to develop GPU-based supercomputers that aim to be a thousand times more powerful than any in the UK today.

These computers will provide a step-change for researchers and industry in areas such as climate modelling, stress analysis, materials modelling, molecular modelling, and numerical weather simulation.

Using Nvidia's expertise in high-performance computing, STFC will develop the software necessary to enable exascale-class supercomputers, which will contain hundreds of thousands of graphics processing units capable of performing a million trillion calculations per second.

The agreement between Nvidia and STFC follows a £37.5m investment in March last year by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in high-performance computing at Daresbury Laboratory as part of its UK e-infrastructure initiative.

David Corney, acting director of STFC’s department of scientific computing, said: 'This agreement combines Nvidia's leading-edge GPU accelerator technologies and HPC expertise with STFC’s software development expertise. This unique combination will enable the development of next-generation massively parallel applications, which will be used for exascale performance levels.'