Conference to mark the launch of Blue Crystal 4

[23 May 2017]

Blue Crystal 4

On Wednesday 24th May a conference will be held to mark the launch of Blue Crystal 4, one of the fastest and most advanced supercomputing facilities in the UK, capable of up to 600 trillion calculations per second.

The new multi-million pound system, is three times faster than its predecessor and will allow researchers to process vast amounts of complex data at record speeds.

Over 1,000 researchers and PhD students in areas such as paleobiology, biochemistry, physics, molecular modelling, life sciences, and aerospace engineering will benefit from the new system.

Supercomputers are regarded as the ‘third pillar’ of modern research due to their important role in speeding up calculations and analysis which would previously have taken many years to complete.

The University of Bristol has invested 16 million in High Performance Computing (HPC) and research data storage in the last 10 years. Uses for Blue Crystal have evolved to include teaching, with students on six courses learning how to use HPC for research projects and real-life applications.

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Bristol, said: “This new supercomputer reinforces Bristol’s position as one of the leading centres for HPC in the world. Over the past 10 years, its role in world-leading, often life-saving research, has become even more evident and we’re committed to staying ahead of the game.

“In addition to research, we take pride in offering taught courses on HPC for our students which prepare them for their future in this important field.”

Designed, integrated and configured by the HPC, storage and data analytics integrator OCF, BC4 has more than 15,000 cores making it the largest UK university system by core count and a theoretical peak performance of 600 Teraflops.

The new system is ranked 301 in the world, according to the Top500 list which analyses the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers.

Simon Burbidge, the University’s new Director of Advanced Computing, said: “It is with great excitement that I take on the role of Director of Advanced Computing. My predecessor, Ian Stewart, has made a tremendous contribution in developing the Blue Crystal facility. I look forward to building on this foundation and enabling the University's ambitious research programmes through the provision of the latest computational techniques and simulations.”