IBM iDataPlex System to predict future risks such as accelerating
decrease in Arctic sea ice; regional climate change for Province of
Ontario and Great Lakes watershed region
TORONTO, June 18 /CNW/ - The University of Toronto's SciNet Consortium,
Compute Canada, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the completion of a new
supercomputer facility at SciNet that has a peak processing power of more than
300 trillion calculations per second, making it Canada's most powerful
supercomputer and one of the most powerful and energy-efficient supercomputers
in the world.
The consortium, which includes the University of Toronto and associated
research hospitals, will enhance SciNet's competitive position in globally
important research projects. The IBM Supercomputer will be used for
ground-breaking research in aerospace, astrophysics, bioinformatics, chemical
physics, climate change prediction, medical imaging and the global ATLAS
project, which is investigating the forces that govern the universe. SciNet is
one of seven consortia that comprise Compute/Calcul Canada, a national high
performance computing resource for academic institutions. SciNet is currently
funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario government and the
University of Toronto.
"With the IBM iDataPlex cluster now operational, the SciNet facility will
begin delivering high performance computing services to the Canadian research
community that are fully competitive with those available internationally,"
said Dr. Richard Peltier, Scientific Director of SciNet and Director of the
Centre for Global Change Science. "This unique facility, both in terms of its
compute power and its energy efficiency, represents a major success for
Compute Canada, Canada's national HPC Platform and for the University of
Toronto Community as a whole."
As a physicist whose interests are focused on planetary physics and
climate change prediction, Dr. Peltier's work includes research on the impact
of greenhouse gas-induced global warming, which will be greatly enhanced by
Another area of research for this system will be to explore the modern
scientific mystery of why matter has mass and what constitutes the mass of the
universe. Beginning in September, the Large Hadron Collider project based in
Geneva, the most powerful particle accelerator ever built, will produce vast
quantities of data, which scientists hope will be begin to unlock these
mysteries. SciNet's computing power and storage capacity will be a significant
contributor to the data analysis.
Additional areas of research include analyzing high-resolution global
models to predict future risks, such as the accelerating decrease in Arctic
sea ice. An immediate project will be the construction of regional climate
change predictions for the Province of Ontario and Great Lakes watershed
With peak performance of more than 300 trillion calculations per second,
this IBM System x iDataPlex system would currently place in the top 15 of the
world's most powerful supercomputers, according to the latest TOP500 List. It
uses a total of 30,240 Intel processor 5500 series 2.53 GHz processor cores
and it is entirely water cooled.
The IBM System x iDataPlex server is specifically designed for data
centers that require high performance, yet are constrained by floor space,
power and cooling infrastructure. This system provides up to five times the
compute density versus competitive offerings and a unique water cooled
technology -- IBM's Rear Door Heat Exchanger -- extracts more heat than the
systems actually generate. This, combined with additional energy efficiency
technologies, including dynamic provisioning software that automatically turns
off processors not currently in use, and the state-of-the-art data center
design at the University of Toronto saves enough energy to power more than 700
"From the outset the IBM and SciNet team knew we had to break new ground
to achieve success, said Chris Pratt, Strategic Initiatives Executive, IBM
Canada. "Not only was this system the first of a kind worldwide, but we were
very focused on the overall efficiency and ability to deliver meaningful
research capabilities across a wide range of disciplines. This Canadian
success story is attracting worldwide interest in how the team has created
such an integrated, efficient and powerful system and this is a true a
testament to the collaboration and team work of all those involved."
"The University of Toronto's SciNet installation is the largest Intel
processor-based IBM deployment in the world," said Richard Dracott, Intel's
General Manager of High Performance Computing. "We are honored to have
platforms based on the Intel(R) Xeon(R) processor 5500 series driving the
largest supercomputer in Canada tasked with solving some of the most complex
challenges facing our planet."
This new iDataPlex system adds to SciNet's existing supercomputing
capability, which includes an IBM water cooled Power 575 supercomputer with
3,328 POWER6 cores with peak performance of more than 60 trillion calculations
per second. This system is currently the 53rd most powerful supercomputer in
the world according to the latest TOP500 list and will help with research in a
variety of areas including aerospace.
For additional information visit www.ibm.com/deepcomputing.
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