Ireland’s supercomputer ‘Fionn’ ranked 358th fastest in the world

19 Nov 2013

Just a week after being announced, the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC)’s newest supercomputer Fionn has secured its place as the 358th fastest computer on Earth.

This is the first time in a year and a half that Ireland has placed on the Top 500 Supercomputer List and 93 places higher than the last system in June 2012, according to

Ireland’s Minister for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock, TD, and the ICHEC announced Ireland’s newest supercomputer last week.

The supercomputer has been named ‘Fionn’ by CoderDojo programmers.

‘Fionn’ is a hybrid machine installed at the TSSG data centre in Waterford Institute of Technology that is capable of running different applications and workflows. Made up of four components – thin, hybrid, fat and service nodes with more than 8,400 compute cores and 24TB of RAM – this machine will run non-stop for the next four years, and quadruple computing resources available to scientists in Ireland.

Fionn will enable researchers to solve problems faster, be they working in the area of nanomaterial discovery, medical-device development, weather forecasting, or big data.

“Access to data processing power on the scale that the new supercomputer will provide is essential if Ireland is to realise its ambitions in the area of big data,” said Prof Mark Ferguson, director-general of Science Foundation Ireland. “The sector is growing by 40pc annually and presents a real opportunity for Ireland to leverage the requirements of convergent industries and the capabilities of academia through partnerships that will help create high-value jobs.”

The creation of Fionn required an investment of more than €3.7m, which is supported by Government through Science Foundation Ireland plus €450,000 from industry.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years