Blue Joule, an IBM Blue Gene/Q system, has been officially named the number one supercomputer in the UK and thirteenth most powerful in the world. The announcement was made at the 2012 International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Hamburg, Germany, when the 39th edition of the Top500 list of the world's leading supercomputers was revealed.
Installed at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire, Blue Joule is the first system in the UK to run a Petaflop application; an achievement that represents a thousand-fold increase in supercomputing performance in the UK in the last 10 years. The system forms part of STFC’s new software research centre that was announced in March 2012 following an investment of £37.5m in high-performance computing by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).
‘Supercomputers have become essential to the modern world, aiding research and innovation, and enabling companies to compete effectively in a global market,’ Professor John Bancroft, project director of the Centre and head of STFC’s Campus Centre Projects, commented. ‘I therefore invite academic researchers and industry to come to STFC and to design and test their solutions to highly complex problems on what is now officially the UK's largest supercomputer.
‘STFC is one of only a small handful of owners in the world of this particular BlueGene/Q system, but by the year 2020 supercomputers will be thousands of times faster again. Therefore, as part of our new facility at Daresbury, Blue Joule will also play a key role in developing the software that will run on these machines of the future,’ he added.