University unveils "green" supercomputer


By Cara Sulieman

A SCOTS university has unveiled a “green” supercomputer that can process data more than 1000 times faster than the average PC.

Eddie – the main supercomputer at University of Edinburgh – has been upgraded to make him more environmentally friendly.

The system – based at the Edinburgh Compute and Data Facility – can now run more complex problems in less time and using less energy.

Eddie will aid university research into areas such as bioinformatics, speech processing, particle physics, material physics, chemistry, cosmology and neurology.

The advance is the result of a joint project by the university and OCF, a company that specialises in high performance computers.

Powered by IBM technology, Eddie can hold almost a year’s worth of high definition video in his 130 terabyte memory.

Energy saving IBM iDataPlex servers use a water cooling feature to remove all the heat from the processors.

And this is just the first stage for the supercomputer, which will be upgraded again next year. 

Dan Cohen, MD of IBM and consultant to the The University of Edinburgh said: “Research is the lifeblood of the technology industry.

“Systems, such as Eddie, allow researchers to look into new and exciting areas in a variety of fields that could lead to a smarter vision for tomorrow.”   

Tony Weir, Edinburgh Compute Data Facility Service Director, the University of Edinburgh, said: “The HPC system design put forward by OCF provides both an increase in compute power for the benefit of researchers and a reduction in the University’s running costs due to the innovative technologies in use.

“The new Eddie will deliver double the compute power with significantly reduced heat and energy consumption.”

Julian Fielden, managing director, OCF plc added, “This and future planned upgrades to Eddie will enable researchers to undertake more complex, in-depth research and receive research results more quickly.”