Prime Minister visits ARCHER2 Supercomputer

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits ARCHER2

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has visited the UK’s newest and most powerful supercomputer, ARCHER2.

ARCHER2 provides world-class computing capabilities for the UK’s researchers, facilitating at least 11 times more science throughput than its predecessor, ARCHER.

Opportunities across the UK

Speaking during the visit to ARCHER2, hosted by EPCC at The University of Edinburgh, Mr Johnson said:

It was great to witness the front-line work of UK supercomputing science right here in Edinburgh, including seeing the real horsepower behind mapping climate change, driving discovery in engineering, and researching the effects of anti-bodies, in person.

Scotland is rightly benefiting from our £79 million investment, placing it front and centre of research and development, while boosting, spreading and levelling up opportunities across the UK.

ARCHER2 is funded by an investment of £79 million from:

  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

EPSRC and NERC are both part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Supporting breakthroughs

Its peak performance equals around 250,000 modern laptop computers all working together, or 10 billion times faster than the first Cray supercomputer in 1964.

This will support breakthroughs across the research and innovation landscape, from drug development and climate and earth system modelling to the design of sustainable technologies and materials.

Following a phased commissioning process, the full 23 cabinet system is now online.

World-leading computing capabilities

EPSRC Executive Chair Dame Lynn Gladden said:

ARCHER2 is an exciting and important component of the UK’s research and innovation system, providing world-leading computing capabilities to deliver the UK’s fastest research computing for both our university-based researchers and their business partners.

By allowing researchers to perform virtual experiments on this state-of-the-art system, ARCHER2 will catalyse and accelerate discovery-led research and the development of new applications for the benefit of all society.

New discoveries and innovations

NERC Executive Chair, Professor Sir Duncan Wingham, said:

High-performance computing underpins a wide range of significant research and innovation across environmental science, from modelling the effects of climate change to calculating the properties of the Earth’s core.

ARCHER2 will greatly increase the computational capacity we have at our disposal and will play an important role in supporting new scientific discoveries and innovations.

Innovative computational science

EPCC Director, Professor Mark Parsons, said:

ARCHER2 represents a world-class supercomputing resource for the UK’s high performance computing researchers and EPCC is delighted to be continuing to support them.

It was a great pleasure to show the Prime Minister the system.

It has taken a huge collaborative effort between EPCC, HPE Cray and UKRI to get to this point.

We are very pleased that ARCHER2 is now delivering its full potential for innovative computational science in the UK.

Top image:  UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits ARCHER2 (credit: Number 10)

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