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UiO, Numascale and IBM collaborate on new Norwegian research technology

The University of Oslo (UiO), the Norwegian technology company Numascale AS and the international corporation IBM, has signed an agreement for a pilot project where Norwegian technology for advanced calculations will be submitted to large-scale testing.

NumaConnect-card

With project funding from the Norwegian Research Council, UiO and PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe), the partners will build a calculation resource based on the technology from Numascale. The calculation installation will be the largest of its kind and will break way for new utilizations of advanced research computing services.

- We think it's very stimulatng to be able to participate in the development and utilization of new advanced Norwegian IT technology for use in research, says IT director Lars Oftedal.

Shared memory for complex tasks

The technology from Numascale AS makes it possible to build large computer systems with many processors sharing the full system quota of memory (RAM). This is called "shared memory", and with the NumaConnect technology several smaller servers can be connected to a large system to share memory more efficiently, which in turn can give significant savings.

The NumaConnect technology is especially well suited for tasks which require a lot of memory or where the problem consists of interconnected elements influencing each other. Such problems are common in subjects such as Life Science, climate calculations and solar physics.

– The NumaConnect technology opens for exploration of several research topics which have been difficult to get started on with the technology available, says Hans Eide, group leader for Research Computing Services at USIT, the University Center for Information Technology at the UiO.

Notur, PRACE and UiO

The project is one of five prototype systems which the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) will establish in 2011. Prototype systems are used to measure – and if possible improve – the performance of computation-intensive scientific applications that use hundreds or thousands of processors simultaneously. The systems are also used to evaluate new technologies in normal conditions, such as energy consumption, scalability, maintenance and operation. Notur and PRACE supplies half of the investment sum each, while the UiO contributes expertise, power and other infrastructure.

Published Nov 17, 2011 12:05 PM