More modelling power at Birmingham university

Researchers at the UK's University of Birmingham using a centrally funded high performance computing (HPC) service will now benefit from additional modelling power and a wider range of services following a replacement of its previous HPC system.

The University of Birmingham also provides additional compute power to GridPP, a collaboration of particle physicists and computer scientists from the UK and CERN.

The initial HPC service boasts 15 TFlops of performance using nearly 850 processing cores. This initial installation is of comparable performance, with a much lower carbon footprint, to the outgoing system and will grow in the light of IT Services' experience to meet the varied demands from the research community.

The Linux-based HPC service is one part of the overall Birmingham Environment for Academic Research (BEAR) that is being jointly developed by the University, OCF and other specialist partners. BEAR is a set of complimentary and inter-linked services to meet the diverse needs of the wide research base of the University.

The additional modelling power will enable researchers to process larger, more detailed, more accurate simulations and test cases in less time than was possible on the previous service. The School of Chemistry, for example, is using the Linux HPC service for research into many areas including computational nanoscience.

Paul Hatton, HPC and visualisation specialist for IT Services at the university, said: 'The new Linux HPC service has been well received by users of the previous service, and most of the ongoing projects that were benefitting from the previous service, including some from archaeology and economics as well as the science and engineering disciplines, have continued to use the new service.'

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