World-class supercomputer for Adelaide

Wednesday, 4 June 2003

A $1.7 million world-class supercomputer called Hydra will be unveiled at the University of Adelaide today by the Science and Information Economy Minister, Dr Jane Lomax-Smith.

At an operating speed more than 250 times that of a high-end desktop computer, Hydra is among Australia's top three supercomputers and is one of the fastest of its kind in the world, offering unique benefits to South Australian researchers and industry.

Based at the University of Adelaide, Hydra is owned by the South Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing (SAPAC), which is a consortium of the universities of Adelaide, Flinders and South Australia.

"Hydra is a major addition to South Australia's supercomputing capability, and gives researchers the high-performance computing power they need to keep pace within their fields and remain internationally competitive," says the Director of SAPAC, Associate Professor Tony Williams.

"It will play a vital role in fields as diverse as biotechnology, water resource management, defence, petroleum geology, mining exploration, physics, chemistry and engineering," he says.

"Hydra's speed and versatility will also make it attractive to new research initiatives, powering innovation in South Australia and helping to drive the State's knowledge economy."

Some features of Hydra:

at a top operating speed of 1.2 teraflops (executing more than one trillion arithmetic operations per second), Hydra is more than 250 times faster than a high-end desktop computer;

Hydra is an IBM 1350 "cluster" with 129 "nodes", each of which contains two 2.4 Gigahertz processors and 2 Gigabytes of RAM;

the nodes are linked by a high-speed communications network that allows many processors to be used to execute a single program.

Hydra was purchased by SAPAC in partnership with IBM, and with support from the Australian Research Council, the three SA universities, Myricom Corporation, and a number of research groups.


Contact Details

Professor Tony Williams
Director, SA Partnership for Advanced Computing (SAPAC)
Director, Special Research Centre for the Subatomic Structure of Matter (CSSM)
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 3546
Mobile: 0414 687 264