New generation supercomputer unveiled

A supercomputer capable of more than one million billion calculations a second has been launched at the University.

Photo of Luis Felipe Sopher de Popovics, Cray System Engineer, with the ARCHER supercomputer

The £43 million ARCHER (Academic Research Computing High End Resource) system will provide high performance computing support for research and industry projects in the UK.

ARCHER will help researchers carry out sophisticated, complex calculations in diverse areas such as simulating the Earth’s climate, calculating the airflow around aircraft, and designing novel materials.

Large-scale problems

The University of Edinburgh has for many decades been a pioneer in High Performance Computing. We are delighted to have the ARCHER facility and its support at Edinburgh.

Professor Sir Timothy O’SheaPrincipal of the University of Edinburgh

ARCHER's magnitude and design will enable scientists to tackle problems on a scale that was previously thought impossible.

The system, housed at the University’s Advanced Computing Facility at Easter Bush, has up to three and a half times the speed of the HECToR supercomputer system, which it replaces.

ARCHER's twin rows of sleek black cabinets are supported by the newly installed UK Research Data Facility.

Big data

The system brings together the UK’s most powerful computer with one of its largest data centres.

This creates a facility to support Big Data applications, which has been identified by the UK Government as one of its Eight Great Technologies.

The building housing the ARCHER system is among the greenest computer centres in the world, with cooling costs of only eight pence for every pound spent on power.


Systems support

ARCHER will enable researchers in engineering and the physical sciences to continue to be at the forefront of computational science developments and make significant contributions in the use of Big Data.

Professor David DelpyCEO of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

ARCHER was supplied by US computing experts Cray and is funded and owned by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The Massively Parallel Processor uses Cray’s XC30 hardware.

Intel’s Xeon E5-2600v2 processor series enables ground-breaking performance, scalability, and maximises energy efficiency.

Systems support for the machine will be provided by the University’s Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC) and Daresbury Laboratory.

Science, user and engineering support will also be provided by EPCC.

ARCHER is the highest ranked UK supercomputer on the Top 500 list of November 2013. Based on Intel Xeon E5 v2 processors, the system is designed to deliver sustained performance and scalability, providing researchers and scientists with a powerful, reliable and productive tool.

Stephan GillichDirector Technical Computing EMEA, Intel