Fionn was ICHEC's primary supercomputer and Ireland's national supercomputer for academic researchers before being replaced by Kay. Fionn was shutdown in August 2018.

Sept. 2013
Installation Date
140.4 TFlop/s
Linpack Performance


Fionn ( was comprised of four components:

  • "Thin" -  An SGI ICE-X system of 320 nodes where each node has 2 x 12 core 2.4 GHz Intel Ivy Bridge processors, 64 GiB of RAM and an FDR InfiniBand network adaptor. This gives a total of 7680 cores and 20TiB of distributed memory.
  • "Hybrid" - A partition of 32 nodes to provide dedicated access to accelerators from Intel and NVIDIA. Each node has 2 x 10 core Intel Sandy Bridge 2.2GHz processors, 64 GiB of RAM and two accelerators. 16 nodes have two Intel Xeon Phi 5110P co-processors each while the other 16 nodes have two NVIDIA K20X GPUs. All nodes have FDR InfiniBand to facilitate hybrid MPI programming models.
  • "Fat" - An SGI UV2000 shared memory system with 1.7TB of RAM accessible from 14 x 8 core Intel Sandy Bridge processors. Two Intel Xeon Phi 5110P co-processors are also available along with 7TiB of dedicated local scratch storage.
  • "Service & Storage" - A set of service and administrative nodes to provide user login, batch scheduling, management, tape backup, networking, etc. Storage is provided via Lustre filesystems on a high-performance DDN SFA12k-20 system with 560TB of capacity.

A wide range of new research and development (R&D) was enabled on Fionn. These include increased resolution in weather and climate forecasting, larger and longer simulations for research in areas such as medical device development, nanotechnology, genomics, drug design, etc. The machine was also capable of running heterogeneous workflows that require large compute power and large amounts of memory either during the pre- or post-processing phases of researchers work.

The name, Fionn, stems from the Irish word Fionnachtana which means the action of discovery. This name was chosen from a competition run for primary and secondary students in Ireland and aptly describes the work carried out on the machine.

Scheduling Policy

The following queues were available on Fionn:

  • DevQ - 24 to 96 cores for up to 30 minutes
  • ShortQ - 24 to 1032 cores for up to 24 hours
  • ProdQ - 24 to 1032 cores for up to 72 hours
  • LongQ - 24 cores for up to 144 hours
  • GpuQ - 20 to 160 cores for up to 48hrs
  • PhiQ - 20 to 160 cores for up to 24hrs
  • ShmemQ - 8 to 112 cores for up to 72hrs


Fionn was purchased from SGI after a competitive dialogue process and was co-funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) at a level of €3.7M and industry funds at a total cost of €450k. The naming competition was funded by an outreach project from SFI Discover Science and Engineering.

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