EarthByte successful in applying for resources on iVEC supercomputer ‘Fornax’

Dietmar Müller, Leonardo Quevedo and Thomas Landgrebe from EarthByte have been successful in applying for resources on the new iVEC supercomputer “Fornax” located at UWA through a merit allocation project built around GPlates new data mining capabilities. GPlates performance as a data-intensive application and its potential for generating a high impact research outcome by taking advantage of multicore GPU architectures have been key to this grant. The proposal explores the distribution of GPlates’ in-built graphics acceleration across multiple computing nodes equipped with high-performance GPUs, to allow for real-time reconstruction as well as large-scale data-mining and statistical analyses of high-resolution raster data. The application of these tools to geodata synthesis through space and time, and the assimilation of disparate geological and geophysical data into a large-scale four-dimensional Earth models have enormous relevance in the study of important relationships through time pertaining to mineral deposits and energy systems. Fornax (Latin for ‘furnace’) is the latest addition to the Pawsey Centre Project infrastructure funded by the Australian Government, as part of an $80 million Super Science initiative aimed at providing new supercomputing facilities and expertise to support SKA (Square Kilometre Array) research and other high-end science. The system procured from SGI comprises 96 nodes, each containing two 6-core Intel Xeon X5650 CPUs, an NVIDIA Tesla C2075 GPU and 72 GB RAM, resulting in a system containing 1152 cores and 96 GPUs.