University invests in improved HPC for researchers

Significant investment has been made to allow researchers to maximise their use of High Performance Computing for their research. New hardware will increase performance and a new role has been created to assist researchers to write efficient software.



The University has invested £1m in new hardware which will allow a performance increase of over 2.5 times compared to current ALICE HPC hardware. Researchers will be able to complete their computations quicker or at an enhanced resolution.

In recognition of the major improvements to HPC, the services have been relaunched as ALICE2 and SPECTRE2. Research groups have now transitioned to use the new services.

What is HPC?

High Performance Computing allows researchers to solve large problems rapidly by making use of a supercomputer, which has vastly more computing power and storage capacity than a desktop PC.

HPC facilities were launched at the University in July 2010 and are mostly used for research. Increasingly SPECTRE is used for teaching the next generation of researchers.

The provision of competitive HPC is the lifeblood of many research areas across the University and leads to demonstrable high impact research. The new service will undoubtedly enable novel research

Prof Paul Monks, Head of the College of Science and Engineering


During 2017, up to 50% more storage will be added, taking the total storage available to HPC to around 1.3Petabytes (PB).


170 compute nodes (183 TFLOPS): 4760 Intel 2.4GHz CPU cores and 21 TB total memory, 56Gb/s InfiniBand network

Research Software Engineering service (ReSET)

Alongside the hardware improvements, a new role has been created within IT Services to help researchers optimise their code and make their software run more efficiently. Researchers will be able to ask for assistance with writing efficient code, using best practice or review their code to make improvements.

If you would like to request software engineering assistance complete the Research Software Engineering Application form.

Continued investment in HPC is essential for computational fluid dynamics research. The ability to run calculations over hundreds of cores allows us to produce world-leading research into the study of turbulence, and its role in combusting flows.

Andrew McMullan, Department of Engineering

How would I use HPC for my research?

HPC is free to use by anyone who needs a Linux environment or processing power beyond that available on a desktop PC.

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