Australia’s fastest supercomputer ranks high on world listing

The extensive planning and dedicated hard work to install VLSCI’s new supercomputer continues to pay dividends. VLSCI’s newly operational BlueGene/Q system, named Avoca, not only passed its acceptance testing, but has also ranked 31 on the prestigious global TOP500 list.

The TOP500 table nominates the 500 most powerful computer systems. It is updated twice a year, with the latest release on 18 July 2012 representing the 39th edition of the list avidly followed by high performance computer enthusiasts. The peak performance was measured using the LINPACK Benchmark – regarded as the industry benchmark for high performance computing.

VLSCI’s Avoca represents one of many BlueGene/Q systems on the list, including Sequoia, installed at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and which sits at the top of the TOP500.  In fact, IBM represents 47.5% of installed total performance of all systems on the TOP500 list.

During reliability testing, Avoca’s 65,536 cores and 65 terabytes of RAM exceeded expectations when it achieved 694.7 teraflops, which positions it as the fastest computer in the southern hemisphere.  Indeed, it is the fastest computer on the TOP500 list dedicated to life sciences computation. Victorian life sciences researchers keenly awaiting access to the massively increased processing power have only a couple more weeks to wait while the Peak Computing Facility team at VLSCI carefully make the final preparations.

A leading global online tech publication, The Register, has reported Avoca’s successful arrival to its six million users: