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Australia's supercomputers need 'urgent' refresh, or life-saving research at risk

George Nott | Aug. 11, 2017
High Performance Computing facilities await investment decision.

Its new Advanced Technology Cluster, Athena will inform the requirements of its next supercomputer.



The future of HPC in Australia is now in the hands of the government.

"The roadmap made a number of recommendations that the government will consider over the coming months," education minister Simon Birmingham said at the time.

In the 2017-18 Budget, the government announced the development of a Research Infrastructure Investment Plan which will "inform its consideration of the 2016 Roadmap".

The plan is being developed by the Department of Education and Training and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in consultation with the Commonwealth Science Council, Innovation and Science Australia and key stakeholders.

"The Plan will systematically assess the need for future research infrastructure investment, including HPC, against Government priorities and will be informed by the 2016 Roadmap and an inventory of existing national research infrastructure," a Department of Education and Training spokesperson told Computerworld.

The importance of continued long-term investment cannot be overstated.

"We could not have done our work without access to Magnus," Boykins says. "The computations would have taken years on a normal computer. Without HPC, our work would stop."



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