Research and innovation-dedicated IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer named fastest in Canada

TORONTO, Nov. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - The Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP) today announced the research consortium's IBM Blue Gene/Q system has been named the fastest in Canada on the TOP500 list of the world's top supercomputers.

Located at University of Toronto's high performance computing facility, the Blue Gene/Q platform is dedicated to collaborative research focused on solving critical challenges within cities, health, water, and energy systems, as well as in the area of agile computing.

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Canada's top supercomputer, the IBM POWER architecture-based Blue Gene/Q has more than 40,000 water-cooled processors -- the equivalent processing power of 3 million smartphones, or 6500 new, high-end laptops.  The system is approximately 30 times faster, 10 times smaller, and uses five times less electricity than Canada's previous top supercomputer.  The Blue Gene-Q system was installed in September 2012 with funding support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

"The Blue Gene/Q and, in fact, the SOSCIP consortium facilitate a university-industry partnership that will transform what we can do through research and innovation," said Professor Paul Young, Vice President (Research and Innovation) at the University of Toronto and Co-Chair of the SOSCIP Board.  "SOSCIP and the Blue Gene/Q will help to lower the barriers to high performance computing, enabling researchers, students, and small to medium sized business enterprises to collaboratively use this powerful new technology and create innovative solutions to challenging problems facing society."

Through SOSCIP supported research projects, the Blue Gene/Q supercomputer will enable researchers from participating universities to tackle new and previously unattainable big data and scientific challenges such as disease modeling, disaster planning and mitigation, climate science and other computationally intensive modeling and simulation-based research.

"The muscle behind this system is the same architecture that drives many of the world's enterprise computing systems. Here, it's being applied toward data-intensive, complex calculations to find solutions to issues affecting us all," says John Lutz, president of IBM Canada. "The IBM BlueGene/Q can change the research climate in Canada and reveal insights that will deepen and strengthen our knowledge-based economy."

For more information about SOSIP visit: http://www.soscip.org

About SOSCIP
The Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP) is a research consortium established in April 2012.  The consortium pairs academic and industry researchers with high performance computing to analyze big data and fuel innovation leadership in Canada within agile computing, health, water, energy and cities.  The consortium members include the IBM Canada Research and Development Centre as well as seven Ontario universities, led by University of Toronto and Western University.  Other participants include McMaster University, Queen's University, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, University of Ottawa, and University of Waterloo. 

For more information about the individual investments made by the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, and IBM Canada, please refer to the following backgrounders:

SOURCE: Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP)

For further information:

Laura Philippe
SOSCIP Media Relations
519.404.5866

Leslie Plant
IBM Media Relations
416.526.5647