Supercomputer service helps speed commercial ideas to reality


Businesses could dramatically cut the time taken to bring new products and services to market with help from a new supercomputer.

Access to the supercomputer, called Cirrus, is provided by EPCC, the supercomputing centre based at the University of Edinburgh.

The high performance computing (HPC) facility could also help businesses from a range of science and engineering sectors cut the cost of product and service development.

Clients will be able to use the £1 million machine to tackle their research and design challenges. The service is fully supported and clients will also have access to EPCC’s consulting expertise in HPC and data analytics.

Cirrus is an SGI ICE XA supercomputer comprising more than 5,000 core processors – the equivalent of thousands of desktop computers.

This facilitates calculations that would be impossible, or much slower, when carried out on conventional desktop computing systems, delivering results in hours to days instead of weeks or months. The fifth generation system powers many of the largest supercomputing environments in the world.

The system is housed at the University’s Advanced Computing Facility at Easter Bush, which also hosts the UK National supercomputing service, called ARCHER.

George Graham, Commercial Manager of EPCC, said: “This newly installed computing power – in tandem with EPCC’s in-house expertise – means we are well placed to help businesses meet many of the computational challenges associated with developing new products and services.”