The University of Western Sydney has unveiled a cost-effective supercomputer, for which they have plans to develop a bushfire modelling system and a virtual baby for medical training.
On 13 December the NSW Minister for Information Technology, Kim Yeadon, officially opened the government-funded High Performance Computing Centre (HPCC) in Penrith and unveiled its $75,000 supercomputer.
Built with commodity components, the 20-node GWS Beowulf cluster operates on Mandrake 9.0 Linux. The 4U rack mount chassis uses two Athlon MP 2000+ CPUs, with 1.024GB of DDR RAM and fixed disk storage of 800GB.
It uses software developed at UWS as well as MPI/PVM message passing libraries, which permit a number of UNIX or NT machines to connect to a single network to use one large parallel computer. A 30MB datalink with the Australian Centre for Advanced Computing and Communications and Nepean Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit allows distributed data analysis.
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