The nation’s most powerful computer has been unveiled at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.
The largest super computer in Australia, called Raijin after the Japanese god of thunder and rain, cost $50 million to build and will cost $12 million a year to run.
It is part of the new National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) facility at the campus.
The Canberra-based super computer is believed to be the 27th most powerful computer in the world.
Researchers at the ANU say it can perform the same number of calculations in one hour that 7 billion people with calculators could perform in 20 years.
ANU Professor Lindsay Botten says the computer itself is bigger than the size of a house.
“It has 57,000 processing cores, which is something like 15,000 ordinary personal computers (PCs),” he said.
“It has 160 terabytes of memory, which is like 40,000 ordinary PCs. It has 10,000 terabytes of disk, which would be like 10,000 ordinary PCs.”
Professor Botten says it will encourage weather scientists and climate change researchers to stay in Australia instead of taking their careers overseas.
“If every person on the face of the Earth had a desk calculator and they worked for a week or two weeks, 12 hour days, this machine would do that work in a second,” he said.
Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Senator Kim Carr says the computer will enable scientists to gain valuable insights into issues of pressing national importance like climate change, water management and earth science.
“This leap in computing power will give our researchers insights and solutions to problems at a rate far quicker than previously possible,” he said.
“It keeps Australia at the forefront of global innovation and opens up new horizons for science and research.
“This super computer demonstrates the Government’s ongoing commitment to providing collaborative world-class infrastructure to improve research outcomes.”