Australia recently unveiled the Sun Constellation, a 140 teraflop machine that will be the country’s most powerful supercomputer. The $15 million Sun Constellation, which ranks among the world’s top 40 supercomputers, has 180 Sun Blade x6275 Server Modules implemented in two computer racks, but there are plans to expand to 14 racks by the end of 2009. The total system leverages the Sun Lustre Storage System and the Sun Datacenter InfiniBand Switch 648. The Sun Constellation also has an energy consumption rate of 604 kilowatts. The National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) will operate the supercomputer, which will be housed at the Australian National University (ANU). The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, ANU, the Australian government, and other partners will use the supercomputer for research projects, such as computational chemistry, nanotechnology, astronomy, photonics, medicine, and environmental science. Australia also has plans to introduce a 1 petaflop or 2 petaflops next-generation machine in 2011. “Australia’s now back in business in the high-performance computing league,” says NCI director Lindsay Botten.
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