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A*STAR CRC, Obsidian Strategics and Tata Communications team up to improve supercomputer infrastructure

Nurdianah Md Nur | Nov. 11, 2014
The three organisations will work on a platform that will be the basis of future global supercomputer developments.

Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Computational Research Centre (CRC), Obsidian Strategics, and Tata Communications are joining forces to advance the frontier of supercomputing.

The three organisations will work on a platform that is aimed at leading future global supercomputer developments in architectures, algorithms, software and applications, according to a joint press release.

The press release also stated that team will demonstrate transmission of data at a speed of 100Gbits/s across the Pacific via subsea optical cables to the Supercomputing 2014 (SC14) conference. This speed will be a record-breaker as it delivers data 10 times faster than the previously recorded transmission speeds between Asia and North America.  

Singapore Advanced Research and Education Network (SingAREN) will provide connectivity within Singapore while Tata Communications will deliver transpacific capacity on its subsea cables TGN-IA, which connects Singapore to Japan. Connectivity from there will continue on Tata Communications TGN-P across the Pacific  to Seattle, where the connection will run to New Orleans using Century Link's transcontinental fibre and be terminated at the circuit at A*STAR booth at the  SC14 conference.

To demonstrate the feasibility and lasting value of the platform, a team from A*STAR -- headed by Dr. Marek Michalewica, senior director of A*STAR CRC -- will overlay an architecture called the InfiniCortex initiative. This initiative aims to develop and deploy coordination and scheduling algorithms capable of leveraging the global InfiniBand network to efficiently harness remote supercomputing equipment on single tasks. "Through high-capacity transmission connections, novel applications of long-distance InfiniBand and advances in the application of graph theory will make InfiniCortex a reality, regionally and globally," said Michalewicz.

Obsidian Strategics will provide the Longbow devices that transparently interface supercomputer InfiniBand local area networks with encrypted links across standard WAN infrastructure.  The company will also provide Crossbow devices that route traffic between InfiniBand subnets and BGFC, an enhanced subnet manager that coordinates the global InfiniBand fabric across multiple subnets. Dr David Southwell, the company's chief visionary officer, said, "Longbow and Crossbow devices will collectively enable robust enhanced InfiniBand connectivity across a globally distributed array of high performance computer and storage resources, while delivering performance similar to that of local InfiniBand cabling."

 "The power of supercomputing is on the rise - from speeding up complex data analytics to bringing an accurate, simple weather forecast," said Genius Wong, Tata Communications' SVP of global network services. "By providing the 100Gbits/s transport services to this project, we hope to help realise the power of supercomputing regionally and globally."


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