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Manitoba’s first eco-friendly supercomputer unveiled Today
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:00 PM
Manitoba’s first energy-efficient High Performance Computing (HPC) resources were recently unveiled at the U of M as part of the Compute Canada/WestGrid initiative. The system is funded by a collaborative $8 million investment from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), Manitoba Research and Innovation Fund (MRIF), University of Manitoba and Silicon Graphics International (SGI).

The new HPC resources include a High Performance Computer Centre (HPCC), which will house the province’s new environmentally friendly HPC system. This system, named Grex, will allow researchers to perform complex calculations, solve complicated problems, and perform simulations in a few days instead of weeks or months.

“Our government is proud to support Canadian researchers and innovators by investing in world-class facilities such as this,” said Rod Bruinooge, MP for Winnipeg South, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “This Centre will attract investment and industry to Manitoba and strengthen Canada’s reputation for research excellence.”

“These resources illustrate our commitment to research, education, innovation and environmental stewardship,” said Digvir Jayas, vice-president (research) at U of M. “Our new HPCC facility will provide scientists with access to cutting-edge HPC resources, enabling researchers to make advances within the fields of science and technology, while lowering the environmental cost of these systems.”

Grex is an SGI® Altix® XE1300 cluster and is recognized as one of the world’s most energy-efficient supercomputers, scoring a ranking of 44 out of 500 on the annual Green500 list. Grex is the most energy-efficient system in Compute Canada/WestGrid, and ranks second overall in Canada.

The new HPCC facility has an innovative cooling system that exchanges heat generated by HPC equipment through a campus-wide water-based heating system, re-using energy and reducing the computing cluster’s carbon footprint.

Michelle Liu, assistant professor, department of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences, Faculty of Medicine, believes the new HPC resources will facilitate more efficient communication through training seminars, collaborations and networks regarding problem solving, in addition to supporting her research.

“Currently, my research projects involve gene mapping for autism,” said Liu. “The new HPC resources will benefit us by providing access to genetic analysis specific programs, faster data analysis, data security, storage and back up.”
For more information, contact:
Janine Harasymchuk
Office of the Vice-President (Research)
Phone: (204) 474-9404