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Time: Fast computing

Time - Research at light speed


What is HPC and why should I use it?

Many researchers use computers but desktop machines only go so far. If your overnight compute jobs run into the next day, if your research waits for a weekend to run, if your computer is limiting the progress of your research, then high performance computing (HPC) is the solution.

High performance computing is used to solve real-world problems of significant scale or detail across a diverse range of disciplines including physics, biology, chemistry, geosciences, climate sciences, engineering and many others.

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Intersect’s HPC facilities

Intersect has a partner share in the peak facilities at the National Computational Infrastructure, based at the Australian National University. In addition to this, Intersect also manages a state facility, Orange hosted at IC2 in Sydney. 


Intersect's new HPC 'Orange' was commissioned in March 2013. The SGI 30+ TFlop distributed memory cluster provides a greater than 25-fold increase of compute power and a fivefold increase of disk capacity on the existing system. The new system features 100 cluster nodes with 1600 cores powered by the Intel® Xeon® E5-2600 processor series. It also includes 200 TB local scratch disk space, 101TB of usable shared storage delivering 30+ TFlops, more details here 


NCI's new peak system 'Raijin' is a Fujitsu Primergy high-performance, distributed-memory, cluster based on Intel Sandy Bridge 8-core processors (2.6 GHz) comprising:

  • 57,472 cores in the compute nodes;
  • approximately 160 TBytes of main memory;
  • Infiniband FDR interconnect; and
  • approximately 10 PBytes of usable fast file system (for short-term scratch space).

This provides a:

  • peak performance of approximately 1.2 PFlops -- 8.6 times that of the current peak system;
  • sustained performance of approximately 6.7 times the current peak system (i.e., an aggregate SPECfp_rate2006 of 1.6M); and
  • file system performance which is 6.0 times that of the current system; and consistent with NCI's requirements that the system be well-balanced.

The unit of shared memory parallelism is the node, which comprises dual 8-core processors, i.e., 16 cores.  The memory specification across the nodes is heterogeneous in order to provide a configuration capable of accommodating the requirements of most applications, and providing also for large-memory jobs. Accordingly:

  • two-thirds of the nodes have 32 GBytes, i.e., 2 GBytes/core;
  • almost one-third of the nodes have 64 GBytes, i.e., 4 GBytes/core; while
  • two (2) per cent of the nodes have 128 GBytes, i.e., 8 GBytes.core.


Attribution Policy

If you use resources on Orange or Raijin via the Intersect partner share we ask that you acknowledge us. The proposed text is:

Computational (and/or storage) resources used in this work were provided by Intersect Australia Ltd. 

The full policy can be found here: