Alan Turing Institute to benefit from a new supercomputer

A Cray Urika-GX at Edinburgh University will work on advanced applications in engineering and technology, defense and security, smart cities, financial services and life sciences.

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The Alan Turing Institute is getting some extra supercomputing muscle from Cray.

Image: Cray


The Alan Turing Institute stands to benefit from a new Cray Urika-GX supercomputer, through collaboration between Cray, Intel, and the institute. The supercomputer will be hosted at the University of Edinburgh in its Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC).

The Alan Turing Institute is the UK's national institute for data science, and brings together researchers from a range of disciplines with the aim of tackling core challenges in data science theory and application.

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Named in honor of Alan Turing, who did pioneering work in computer science, the institute is a key centre for the disciplines that make up data science. This new addition to the institute's computing power will provide researchers with access to Cray's analytics platform, which brings together supercomputing technologies and a software framework for big data analytics.

"The Alan Turing Institute was created to advance the world-changing potential of data science," said Alan Wilson, CEO of the institute. "Our researchers require powerful computing technology... to enable their research, and the Cray system... will be an important addition to the Turing's data science toolkit."

According to Cray, an exclusive feature of the Urika-GX is its Cray Graph Engine, which aims to leverage Cray's high-speed Aries network interconnect, in order to provide what it said is "unprecedented, large-scale graph pattern matching and discovery operations across complex collections of data".

Also supported is the Apache Spark cluster engine and the Apache Hadoop software library, to help provide "the tools necessary for large-scale analytics and machine learning operations," the company said.

Underlying the analytics stack, is an open high-performance system featuring the Intel Xeon processor E5 v4 product family, up to 22 terabytes of DRAM memory, and up to 176 terabytes of local Intel P3700 series SSD storage capacity.

A spokesman for Cray said the supercomputer and its associated software are being provided free of charge by Cray and Intel.

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