New supercomputer heading for Leicester

A new generation of supercomputer is coming to Leicester.

The University is one of only three UK universities selected to host the supercomputers which will facilitate processing data used in industrial R&D and academic research.

The University’s IT services and researchers from across the University, in collaboration with the DiRAC High Performance Computing (HPC) Facility, are involved in the Catalyst UK programme as a joint project with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Arm and SUSE.

In the first phase, new HPC clusters will be installed at Leicester, as well as at the Universities of Bristol and Edinburgh. These supercomputers will use novel Arm computer chips to perform their calculations, and will be some of the largest Arm-based computers in the world when they are installed this summer.

Professor Paul Monks, Head of the College of Science and Engineering, at the launch of the new HPC clusters.
The new supercomputer at Leicester will allow researchers to assess the performance of Arm-based systems for calculations across a range of cutting-edge research fields. Users of the DiRAC Facility from across the UK will push the Arm system at Leicester to its limits using simulations of gravitational waves, planet formation and calculations of the masses of fundamental particles. Leicester researchers will also explore the use of the system to build models of the Earth’s atmosphere from satellite data, perform cutting-edge fluid dynamics simulations in engineering and for image processing of data from the latest Electron cryo-Microscopy facilities.

Equally importantly, the new system will further develop the skills of University of Leicester and DiRAC researchers in the use of novel computing hardware. Many of these researchers will later move into industry and contribute to the success of UK SMEs. This will deliver on the Government’s Industrial Strategy goals of addressing the skills gaps in both industry and academia and harnessing the potential of world-class science and innovation across the UK.