Logo of Science Foundation Ireland  Logo of the Higher Education Authority, Ireland7 CapacitiesGPGPU Research Projects
Ireland's High-Performance Computing Centre | ICHEC
Home | News | Infrastructure | Outreach | Services | Research | Support | Education & Training | Consultancy | About Us | Login
Hardware01 category

Meet Fionn - Ireland’s Latest Supercomputer

Posted on 14 November 2013

Fionn supercomputer logo

[Dublin, Ireland] November 13, 2013  - Today, Minister Seán Sherlock TD, Minister for Research and Innovation and the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC, http://www.ichec.ie) announced Ireland’s latest supercomputer called Fionn at the Dunsink Observatory. The name, chosen by Oscar O’Donoghue, a student from DCU CoderDojo, stems from Fionnachtana (Irish for Discovery) and Fionn mac Cumhaill. It aptly reflects the size of the new machine and the new R&D that it will enable.

Presenting the prize for the winning submission in ICHEC’s Name Our Computer competition, Minister Sherlock commented: “Oscar’s competition entry aptly reflects the versatility of the new ICHEC machine and the scope of the R&D that it will enable, while simultaneously placing it firmly within an Irish context.”

Fionn launch prize winners

Left to Right: Oscar O’Donoghue, Lauren Boyle, Maciej Goszczycki, Minister Seán Sherlock TD, Prof. Luke Drury 

An investment of over €3.7M supported by Government through Science Foundation Ireland (http://www.sfi.ie) and €450k from industry, Fionn, a hybrid machine capable of running many different applications and workflows, will quadruple computing resources previously available to scientists in Ireland. Fionn will enable researchers to solve their scientific and industry-related problems quicker by scaling out and scaling up their R&D. Fionn will enable all domains of science from nano material discovery and medical device development to weather forecasting and renewable energy. It is also designed to solve the Big Data challenges of today that require large computing power and large amounts of RAM and storage.

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI, said, "Access to data processing power on the scale that the new supercomputer will provide is essential if Ireland is to realise its ambitions in the area of Big Data. The sector is growing by 40% annually and presents a real opportunity for Ireland to leverage the requirements of convergent industries and the capabilities of academia through partnerships that will help create high value jobs. The analytical capability that resources like this new supercomputer will provide can help position Ireland as an international hub for Big Data research."

Fionn is a parallel machine and it is imperative that Ireland produces people with skills to harness this computing power. To this end ICHEC launched its inaugural coding competition aimed at promoting parallel programming. The challenge was set to take image processing computer code and make it run in parallel to take advantage of modern multi core processors. The Minister presented the winning prize to Maciej Goszczycki who met the challenge and showed great skill in completing it. Maciej regularly attends the TCD Science Gallery CoderDojo in Dublin.

 “The whole CoderDojo community is thrilled Maciej's achievement in winning the challenge, which was no trivial matter and it is a fine Irish name that has been chosen full of meaning and yet matching the CoderDojo ethos of "Be Cool!"  We look forward to other CoderDojo young people also gaining insights into the world of coding for modern parallel supercomputers.” – Bill Liao, CoderDojo Founder

Fionn is made up of four components: Thin, Hybrid, Fat and Service nodes with over 8,400 compute cores and 24TBs of RAM. The new machine will run non-stop for the next four years. It will provide an estimated 295,000,000 hours of computation not counting the power of the accelerators! Fionn provides access to the latest technology from Intel, Ivy Bridge processors along with Xeon Phi coprocessors, coupled to high performance storage from DataDirect Networks (DDN), to researchers across Ireland. “Supercomputers are the key to innovation and development. Our new national supercomputer, named Fionn, is being launched today and we are pleased to bring this new supercomputer to Ireland’s innovators. We look forward to supporting the new breakthroughs that this piece of national infrastructure will enable across academia and industry.” said Prof. JC Desplat, ICHEC Director

The supercomputer was purchased from SGI (http://www.sgi.com; CA, USA. NASDAQ: SGI) with the storage provided by DDN (http://www.ddn.com; CA, USA. EMEA headquarters in Dublin, Ireland). Fionn is installed at the TSSG (http://www.tssg.org/) data centre in Waterford Institute of Technology. ICHEC manages its operation and access is granted through a peer review process run by the ICHEC Science Council.

“ICHEC is providing the computing resources and expertise to the Irish academic and industrial research community to develop the large scale simulations required to tackle fundamental scientific questions and to advance engineering design; often these scientific and engineering questions are intertwined. ICHEC's initiatives to engage young students by opening windows on high performance computing helps ensure that Ireland's next generation of researchers will be well aware of the modern computing technologies at their disposal that will support them in solving future challenges.” – Prof. Jim Greer, Head of Tyndall Graduate Studies, Tyndall Institute and Chairman of the ICHEC Science Council

Details of both competitions aimed at primary and secondary students can be found here: http://nameourcomputer.ichec.ie/ and http://nameourcomputer.ichec.ie/superCoderContest.html plus a short video, http://youtu.be/35p5wGevzVY, commissioned for its launch.

 

News & Events

News02 category Article by Irish Scientist Featured in The Journal of Chemical Physics
Article by Irish Scientist Featured in The Journal of Chemical Physics
Question02 category insideHPC Interview
ICHEC interview with noted HPC news site insideHPC
Wine01 category Internet Hall of Fame
Irishman inducted into Internet Hall of Fame
Weather01 category Irish Meteorological Society, March 20
ICHEC was invited to speak at the Irish Met Society’s series of public talks on March 20th, 2014. The event was held at the Custom House, Dublin. Dr. Paul Nolan, climate scientist at ICHEC, presented an overview of the research carried at ICHEC to forec
News01 category International HPC Summer School 2014
1-6 June, Budapest, Hungary
News01 category Irish Tier-2 HEI service now open on Fionn – the ICHEC Condominium Service 2013-2016
 
News02 category NUI Galway Joins Intel Parallel Computing Centre Programme to Boost Parallel Application Performance in High Performance Computing
Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC) will host the research that has likely applications in materials science, meteorology and data analytics.
News01 category ICHEC at BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2014
Showcasing High-Performance Computing (HPC) at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2014
Weather01 category A State of the Art Air Pollution Forecast System for Ireland
NUI Galway implements Air Quality forecast on ICHEC systems
Hardware01 category Meet Fionn - Ireland’s Latest Supercomputer
ICHEC announce their latest supercomputer that will be available to research throughout Ireland.
People02 category ICHEC Industry Consultation Event
In collaboration with IDAC, the event addresses the importance of Computer Aided Engineering in particular to Engineering sectors such as Manufacturing, Environmental, Oil and Gas, Renewable Energy, Civil, Mechanical and Medical Devices.
Weather02 category Climate Change Report published with Met Éireann
Ireland's climate: the road ahead report provides an overview of the expected changes in the future Irish climate due to global warming.
News02 category The PRACE 8th Call for Project Access
This Call for Proposals targets large-scale, computationally intensive projects that would not be possible or productive without access to PRACE resources.
News01 category ICHEC delivers CUDA tutorials at XSEDE/PRACE/RIKEN Summer School in NYC
ICHEC was invited to deliver the CUDA tutorials at this year’s International Summer School on HPC Challenges in Computational Sciences, held June 23-28, 2013, in NYC
Hardware05 category PRACE Award to Dr. Turlough Downes
Irish team gets access to Europe's fastest computer
People02 category Ministerial launch of ICHEC's new funding cycle
Thursday 4th July, at the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin
News02 category Big Data Visualization with R
Hadley Wickham talks about Big Data Visualization with R
News01 category PRACE Autumn School 2013
23-27 Sep, Ljubljana, Slovenia
News01 category ICHEC at BTYSE'13
High-Performance Computing (HPC) Showcase at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition
News01 category ICHEC Receives Honours in 2012 HPCwire Readers’ Choice Awards
ICHEC has been recognised for the 'Most Innovative Use of HPC in Financial Services' in the prestigious HPCwire Readers' Choice Award
News02 category Research highlight
ICHEC, UCD and Sandia National Labs collaboration publish in Energies
Hardware03 category PRACE Preparatory Access Call
Continuous open call for preparatory proposals.