Australia’s most powerful computer has been unveiled at the Australian National University (ANU) in the national capital, Canberra. Named Raijin, after the Japanese god of thunder and rain, the new supercomputer cost over $50 million to build and is expected to cost $12 million a year to run.

NCI HPC 40 Edit Raijin, Australias most powerful supercomputer, unveiled in Canberra

It is part of the new National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) facility at the campus.

According to the National Computational Infrastructure, Raijin is a high-performance cluster with 57,472 cores (Intel Xeon Sandy Bridge 2.6 GHz), Mellanox FDR interconnect, 160 Tbytes of main memory, 10 Pbytes of useable fast filesystem, running the OneSIS cluster manager, and the PBS Pro workflow manager.

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Staff check hard drives of the new supercomputer.

ANU Professor Lindsay Botten says the computer itself is bigger than the size of a house, and will encourage Australian scientists to stay at home, rather than heading overseas to continue their careers. While speaking of the awesome processing power of the new machine, he said, “If every person on the face of the Earth had a desk calculator and they worked for a week or two weeks, 12 hour days, this machine would do that work in a second.”

The primary use of the computer, believed to be the 27th most powerful in the world, will be modelling climate and weather systems, enabling scientists to elucidate powerful insights into pressing issues like climate change and water management.

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“This leap in computing power will give our researchers insights and solutions to problems at a rate far quicker than previously possible,” said Senator Kim Carr, the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

“It keeps Australia at the forefront of global innovation and opens up new horizons for science and research.

“This super computer demonstrates the Government’s ongoing commitment to providing collaborative world-class infrastructure to improve research outcomes.”

Details of the hardware can be found at the NCI’s website.