British Academia unveils business supercomputer

Cambridge University and Imperial College London have launched a supercomputer named CORE which it says is the UK’s most advanced High Performance Computing platform, which will be available both to private industry and academia.

The system is powered by over 22,000 Intel processor cores which run along with over 3 petabytes of high performance file system, as well as one of the UK’s biggest Nvidia GPU clusters. Its cloud amounts to 300 teraflops, the university says.

CORE is a part of the Business, Innovation and Skills e-infrastructure expansion programme which is seeking to introduce HPC and systems that understand big data into a wider framework in the UK, accessible to both industry and universities.

As well as running complex simulation, CORE has already been used by partners such as Rolls Royce to build what the university says is a “real competitive advantage”. 

CORE director from the department of materials and physics at Imperial College London, Dr Peter Haynes, said that for the UK, CORE is “completely unique in terms of its scale and breadth of knowledge”. Haynes believes that, more significantly, the system’s track record has been doing very well to date and is one of the most effective business ready e-infrastructure services available in the UK. 

The approach to public-private supercomputing is not new, but it is an idea that is gaining momentum. 

CORE will be for hire to partners who want to deploy their own in house systems, the university said. That will include consultancy from procurement and design up to project management, analytics, optimisation, and project management.

Dr Paul Calleja, CORE director at Cambridge, claimed that CORE proves UK leadership in high performance computing and big data design, for SMBs and enterprise-scale customers, as well as in life sciences and materials modelling.