Boffins get £52m computing handout

DTI makes HECToR's day...
Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor

DTI makes HECToR's day...

The Department of Trade and Industry has announced a £52m investment in the next-generation, high-end computing service known as HECToR which will provide high-powered resource for the UK scientific community.

The High End Computing Terascale Resource (HECToR) will give scientists the processing power to carry out increasingly complex simulations in fields such as atomic and molecular physics, climatology and nanoscience.

Lord Sainsbury, parliamentary under-secretary of state for science and innovation at the DTI, said: "HECToR will be an indispensable tool for scientists across the entire breadth of the UK research base.

"The computational limits of the existing facilities are now being reached as new and increasingly complex research programmes place increasing demands on the computing power available. It is imperative that our scientists are able to access the best possible computer facilities to build on, and support, the work they do in the laboratory."

According to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, which is managing the project, HECToR is set to go live in April 2007.

As the potential for high-powered computing opens up new research possibilities, scientific communities around the world have been looking for ways to harness more processing power and computing capacity. Many have turned to grid computing, which pools the resources of vast networks of computers. The most famous research project of this kind is SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence).

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