The JKU now has enormous computing power: The MACH-2 computer can, under certain conditions, execute up to 77.4 trillion calculations per second.
Research partners came together today to watch as the new supercomputer at the JKU became officially operational. Since 2011, scientists at the Kepler University have been able to carry out highly complex simulations using the MACH computer. However, even this high-performance computer is no longer able to able to meet today’s demands in research. The new super computer, also known as type “SGI UV 3000” by Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE), has tripled the available computing power.
At a cost of approximately 1.6 million euros, MACH-2 was funded by the Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Research from the “Higher Education Funds for Research”. As maintenance and operations is also expected to be rather expensive, the following research institutions will be involved and the super computer will be available to the University of Salzburg, the University of Innsbruck, the Johann Radon Institute (RICAM) and the Technical University of Vienna.
Sustainable Continual Development in Cutting-Edge Research
JKU Rector is pleased about the broad cooperation and remarked: “A single university could hardly acquire a super computer like this. Now that the MACH-2 computer is up and running, we are one step closer to our goal of becoming a top European university.” Future topics in the fields of natural sciences, particularly rapid advancements in digitization, would need the corresponding computing power in addition to the Kepler University’s own research and ingenuity. Rector Lukas added: “Thanks to unwavering support by the government and - together with our partners - we will continue to make major contributions to the sustainable development of cutting-edge research.”
Ulrike Tanzer, Vice-Rector of Research at the University of Innsbruck remarked, “Only a few scientific disciplines nowadays can do without a high performance computing structure. This ranges from the University of Innsbruck, for example, from 3D model calculations in archeology to transcribing historical texts on climate and weather models or innovations in engineering and computer sciences. In Austria, in particular, it makes sense for universities to cooperate when it comes to expensive research infrastructures such as high-performance computing. We have found a reliable partner here at the University of Linz.”
Key to New Collaboration Efforts
Undersecretary Univ. Prof. Dr. Günther Burkert (Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Research) speaks of “…the start of a new era in supercomputing and thus an innovative contribution to conducting high-quality research in Austria and Europe.” Burkert added that in the fields of Computer Science, Mathematics, Mechatronics, Biology, Economics, Pharmacy, and many other areas, technological innovation is possible and new insights can be acquired. “After all, the MACH-2 guarantees the interdisciplinary transfer of knowledge and is a key factor when it comes to creating new collaboration efforts in Austria and Europe.”
Wide Range of Applications
The MACH-2 super computer is already a big part of a number of projects at the JKU. The Institute of Organic Chemistry at the JKU carries out calculations to predict the interaction of biological agents, an important issue when developing new drugs. Additional applications include “Deep Learning” for life sciences (Institute of Bioinformatics) as well as for areas outside of the field of natural sciences, such as computing calculations for credit risk management (Institute of Financial Mathematics) as well as economic analyses on individual supplier and demand behavior in e-commerce.