How to build a supercomputer

Last summer, three lorries travelled across the north of England hauling an unusual cargo. For 150 miles, almost 500 computers were individually wrapped in a duvet for protection.

These computers once made up part of a 13-tonne supercomputer in Cheshire and were being moved to their new home at Durham University. Now, after months of painstaking installation, this second-hand supercomputer has become one of the country’s largest machines for astronomy research.

With 4.3 petabytes of storage, it has around a tenth of the storage of the fastest supercomputer in the UK (the Met Office’s Cray XC40), and has a processing power of 166 TeraFlops, compared to Cray’s roughly 7,000 TeraFlops.

Read more on Alphr

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