Australia’s fastest ever supercomputer to go live in November

Australia’s fastest ever supercomputer to go live in November

10 times faster than today’s most powerful, the NCI’s new Gadi machine is being delivered by Fujitsu

Credit: ID 51889531 © Regissercom |

Australia’s fastest supercomputer is about to get 10-times more powerful, thanks to a multi-million dollar upgrade to be delivered by Fujitsu Australia.

The new machine will go live in November, and be housed at the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) at the Australian National University (ANU).

Named Gadi – meaning “to search for” in the language of the traditional owners of the Canberra region, the Ngunnawal – the machine will be significantly faster and more powerful than NCI’s current supercomputer, Raijin.

“Gadi will give researchers the tools to unlock the mysteries of the universe, predict and manage natural disasters, advance cancer research and design new materials for future technologies,” said ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt.

“As the nature and complexity of the problems that need supercomputers have become even greater and more pressing, computational and data science has grown to meet the challenge. This new machine will keep Australian research and the 5000 researchers who use it at the cutting edge. It will help us get smarter with our big data. It will add even more brawn to the considerable brains already tapping into NCI,” he added.

With 3200 nodes, Gadi will power some of Australia’s most crucial research from organisations including CSIRO, Geoscience Australia, and the Bureau of Meteorology.

Ranking rescue

The upgrade is being funded with the $70 million earmarked for the NCI in the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.

When the ANU-based Raijin began operating in 2013, it was Australia’s most powerful supercomputer. It still is, but has been tumbling down the global rankings in recent years.

Raijin – which was also delivered by Fujitsu – is currently placed at 173rd most powerful in the world on the LINPACK Benchmark Top500 ranking, down from 76th last year.

The NCI has previously claimed Raijin’s replacement would be ranked in the top 25 internationally. Minister for Education Dan Tehan today said Gadi would "help Australia break into the top 30 nations for its high-performance computing capacity".

In May last year, Australia’s chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel released the National Research Infrastructure Roadmap. In it, he said the government needed to “urgently address” the country’s high performance computing situation.

Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Western Australia also received $70 million from the government to replace its ageing supercomputers.

Important initiative

Fujitsu tapped both its own technology and that of other vendors to deliver Gadi, including Lenovo, Intel, NVIDIA, NetApp, Mellanox Technologies, DDN (Lustre), Altair and APC by Schneider Electric.

The new supercomputer will utilise both Fujitsu and Lenovo Neptune direct liquid cooling technologies with warm water, allowing for high-density computing. The system features Fujitsu PRIMERGY CX2570 M5 servers and will include second-generation Intel Xeon Platinum processors, Intel Optane DC persistent memory and NVIDIA V100 GPUs to accelerate deep learning training and inferencing.

Linking the storage and the computer will be Mellanox’s HDR InfiniBand technology, capable of transferring data at 200 Gbs per second. The new supercomputer will utilise both Fujitsu and Lenovo Neptune innovative direct liquid cooling technology with warm water, allowing for high-density computing and Altair’s PBS Works Suite software will optimise job scheduling and workload management.

“Fujitsu is proud to be part of this important initiative, which will play a vital role in the progress of science in Australia,” said Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand CEO Mike Foster.

“We look forward to renewing and further invigorating our long-standing relationship with ANU and NCI, which includes the commissioning of Raijin and also dates back as far as the 1980s with the commissioning of one of ANU’s first supercomputers,” he added. 

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More about APC by Schneider ElectricAustraliaAustralian National UniversityBureau of MeteorologyCollaborative ResearchCSIROFujitsuIntelLenovoM5Mellanox TechnologiesNational ResearchNetAppSchneider Electric

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