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A*STAR prepares for launch of the National Supercomputer Centre in Singapore

A*STAR prepares for launch of the National Supercomputer Centre in Singapore

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) bridges the gap between academia and industry as a Science and Technology Organisation.

The research conducted at A*STAR aims to spur economic growth and jobs for Singapore. Thus, A*STAR enhances lives by contributing to societal benefits such as improving outcomes in healthcare, urban living, and sustainability.

A*STAR sees themselves as playing a key role in nurturing and developing a diversity of talent and leaders throughout their research institutes.

Currently, A*STAR is in the process of building the National Supercomputer Centre facilities, hosting a 1+ PetaFlop Supercomputer, to be launched within the next few months. This Supercomputing facility is hoped to meet the greater demands for research and elevate Singapore’s computing prowess on a global scale.

This past week, OpenGov caught up with Dr. John Kan, CIO, A*STAR, to discuss the new National Supercomputer Centre being built in Singapore and how it will affect the greater research community in the region.

National Supercomputer Project to be completed in 2016

The National Supercomputing Centre, as it will be provisioned by the Science, Technology and Research Network (STAR-N), is expected to provide:

  • A high bandwidth network to connect the distributed login nodes
  • High speed access to users (both public and private) anywhere
  • Support in the transfer of large data sets (both locally and internationally)
  • Local and international network connectivity
  • Access to genomic data located in ASEAN, USA, Europe, Australia, Japan, and Middle East

Several institutes of higher learning, such as NUS, NTU, SUTD, and polytechnics, are partnering with A*STAR to utilize the facilities at the National Supercomputing Centre, once it is unveiled. They will be able to be granted access the supercomputer centre when it launches at Fusionopolis in 2016.

“We are building a new National Supercomputing Centre for the whole of Singapore,” stated Dr. Kan, “With appropriate admin rights, lecturers and PhD students may access the facilities for their research. It can be any type of research.”

Dr. Kan also mentioned that research institutes, universities, and organisations outside of Singapore may use the supercomputer facilities.

 As long as outside organisations develop a research collaboration agreement with Singapore Research Institute, then they may use the supercomputer facilities.

Competing on a Global Scale

Next year, A*STAR is hosting a supercomputing conference in Singapore for experts within the whole region to attend. They hope to increase regional participation from previous years in anticipation for the launch of the National Supercomputing Centre.

The launch of the National Supercomputing Centre will be a great feat for the country on a global scale. This supercomputer would allow for greater visibility for Singapore as a leader in the high performing computing (HPC) community.

Every year the HPC evaluates the fastest computers in the world. As Dr. Kan told us, Singapore aims to have the fastest supercomputer in the region. It will be one of the top 50 supercomputing facilities in the world, by the time the centre is completed.

With National Supercomputing Centre expected to feature +1 PetaFLOP, 10+ PB of Storage, and 500 Gbps flash burst buffer, the new facilities will meet the greater demands of research and provide greater opportunities to outside industries.

“This supercomputer centre will help improve 7 key industries, including: manufacturing, transportation, weather climate modeling, and others,” Dr. Kan said,“This is all part of the Smart Nation strategy in Singapore. One of our research institutes, I2R, is developing simulations and models in conjunction with industry partners, to use with our supercomputer.”

This National Super Computer Centre is expected to impact the research community in Singapore tremendously. It will allow for greater collaboration in the region, greater research insights, and greater attention paid to Singapore as a leader in the HPC community.

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