Upgrade for Maxwell the 'supercomputer'

Upgrade for Maxwell the 'supercomputer'

Maxwell, the University's high-performance computing (HPC), is set for a £750,000 upgrade, which will dramatically improve and increase the services it offers currently.

Work to replace and upgrade the current HPC hardware is a joint initiative between the University and the newly established National Decommissioning Centre (NDC). 

Maxwell is a scientific research tool which is available to staff, students and business partners. It is a Supercomputer which utilises parallel processing techniques for solving large and complex computational problems.

Managed by Digital Research Services, Maxwell will have the computational power equivalent to over 1,200 desktop PCs working in tandem, and One Petabyte of storage to accommodate projects with Big Data.

It can be used in many disciplines; from Bioinformatics for the analysis of the next generation sequencing data, processing imaging data collected from MRI Scans, processing anonymised genetic data to looking at treatment response to oesophageal cancer. It can also be used for environmental modelling, simulating the effect land use has on greenhouse gas emissions, to engineering where it is used to model the turbulence and stress in wind turbines.

It will, for the first time, incorporate GPU processors, which are ideally suited to solving problems in AI and deep learning.

This upgrade will allow the university to manage increased ‘Big Data’ projects, as well as reduce wait times for users, maximise run times and improve scheduling. The University intends to expand and tailor this server in response to changing demand, underpinning current and future research, on an annual basis.

The new upgraded service will be available to researchers in early summer.