Australia’s biggest supercomputer to be replaced

Raijin, Australia's highest performing supercomputer

The government is set to invest $70 million to replace Australia’s highest performance research supercomputer, Raijin, which is rapidly nearing the end of its service life.

The Board of Australia’s National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), based at The Australian National University (ANU), welcomed the funding.

“[This] means NCI can continue to provide Australian researchers with a world-class advanced computing environment that is a fusion of powerful computing, high-performance ‘big data’, and world-leading expertise that enables cutting-edge Australian research and innovation,” NCI Board chair Emeritus Professor Michael Barber said.

“The NCI supercomputer is one of the most important pieces of research infrastructure in Australia. It is critical to the competitiveness of Australian research and development in every field of scientific and technological endeavour, spanning the national science and research priorities.”

Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel said high-performance computing was a national priority.

“Throughout our consultations to develop the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, the critical importance of Australia’s two high performance computers was manifestly clear,” Dr Finkel said.

“Our scientific community will be overwhelmingly delighted by the Australian Government’s decision to support the modernisation of the NCI computer hosted at ANU.”

The announcement of funding ensures researchers in 35 universities, five national science agencies, three medical research institutes, and industry will benefit from a boost in computational horsepower, enabling new research that is more ambitious and more innovative than ever before once the new supercomputer is commissioned in early 2019.

NCI anticipates the resulting supercomputer will be ranked in the top 25 internationally.