Irish500 begins task of listing Ireland’s supercomputers

9 May 2013

Image via Dario Lo Presti/Shutterstock

Today, the 12th Information Technology and Telecommunications Conference in Athlone will see the launch of the Irish500 project to raise the profile of high-performance computing in Ireland as work begins on compiling a list of Irish supercomputers.

The name ‘Irish500’ is derived from the TOP500 project (which has ranked the world’s fastest computers on a biannual basis for the past 20 years) and does not denote the number of systems expected to appear on the list.

Like the TOP500, the Irish500 will rank Ireland’s fastest computers in a performance-based league table using the Linpack performance benchmark. The first list will be published in November this year and will be updated biannually from then on.

An independent committee of computer science researchers will maintain the list, including representatives from Dublin City University, University College Dublin, the College of Computer Training (CCT) and Aalto University, Finland.

“The development of an Irish supercomputer ranking list is a fundamental first step in highlighting the place Ireland occupies in terms of high-performance computing globally,” said CCT’s Dr Brett Becker. “It will help Ireland continue in its role of attracting the highest calibre of companies, people and funding in global IT. It will create quite a few ripples in international terms, since as a country Ireland is punching far above its weight when compared to other countries with much larger populations.”

The fastest computer in the world as of November 2012 is the Titan, located in Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, which has a Linpack performance rate of 17.59 petaflops per second. The fastest computer in Europe and No 5 in the world is IBM’s JUQUEEN at the Jülich Research Centre in Germany, which achieved 4.14 petaflops per second.

The Irish500 project is currently in a public consultation and participation phase and submissions of HPC installations for assessment are welcomed.

Supercomputer image via Dario Lo Presti/Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.