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​Pawsey gets AU$70m to upgrade two supercomputing clusters

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magnus-supercomputer.pngMagnus supercomputer Image: Pawsey Supercomputing Centre

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Western Australia has announced receiving AU$70 million in funding from the federal government.

The Pawsey centre is an unincorporated joint venture between the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University, and the University of Western Australia.

It currently serves over 1,500 researchers from across Australia, involved in more than 150 supercomputing projects. Nine Australian Research Centres of Excellence also benefit from the Pawsey centre.

The multimillion-dollar injection will be used to replace the centre's Magnus and Galaxy supercomputers, which are both nearing their end of life.

Magnus is a Cray XC40 petascale system, which as of September 2016 was the most powerful public research supercomputer[1] in the southern hemisphere. Magnus is supported by a smaller commodity cluster, Zeus, for pre/post-processing and visualisation, and Zythos, which is a partition within the Zeus cluster.

Galaxy is a Cray system with a similar architecture to Magnus, dedicated to supporting the operational requirements of the Australian Square Kilometre Array (SKA), Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), and the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA).

The $1 billion SKA[2] is slated as the largest and most capable radio telescope ever constructed[3].

Comprised of 36 antennas working together as a single instrument, the ASKAP will capture radio images[4] of the sky and allow astronomers to answer fundamental questions about the universe, such as the nature of cosmic magnetism and the evolution and formation of galaxies.

The ASKAP forms part of the SKA.

Similarly, the main goals of the MWA, a joint project between a group of international universities

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