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Southampton's World-Class Supercomputer Opens Windows

By ­niversity of Southampton

November 20, 2009



The University of Southampton's new supercomputer was ranked 74th on the Top500 supercomputer list and is the fastest university-owned supercomputer in England. It also is the fastest Microsoft Windows-powered computer in Europe.

"We are interested in making this advanced capability available to every researcher from their desktop, without the need for specialist IT skills," says professor Simon Cox, the director of the Microsoft Institute for High Performance Computing at Southampton. "Using the familiar Windows desktop environment, they are able to carry out extremely large calculations that were previously inaccessible, due to the complexity of more traditional [high-performance computing (HPC)] systems."

Southampton's Oz Parchment says the objective of using Windows as the operating system is to make supercomputing available to everyone on campus, which requires making it easier to use. "We look forward to bringing even more new research domains into the world of HPC to solve problems that they have previously been unable to tackle," Parchment says. "The system is helping existing users focus more on their research, without having to worry about the underlying IT."

From University of Southampton 
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