Fujitsu joins scheme to put Wales on the HPC map

Fujitsu announced it has won a four-year, £15 million contract to provide a distributed grid for HPC Wales with the two primary hubs being Cardiff and Pembroke Dock.

The company said it is to re-enter the high performance computing (HPC) market, 10 years after giving up on it. It said it thinks the HPC market is "changing dramatically".

HPC Wales is an initiative announced in July 2010 which seeks to put Wales on the supercomputing map. The scheme is backed by the Welsh Assembly with the aim of promoting the economic development and use of technology in the region. HPC Wales aims to create around 400 jobs and boost the Welsh economy by £22.8 million over 10 years.

Lesley Griffiths, deputy minister for science, innovation and skills with the Welsh Assembly Government reckons the scale of the project is "vast"

She said: "High performance computing will put Wales right up there as an international player in the world of computational research. The technology will be used to model and solve problems and HPC Wales will deliver the capacity to handle and analyse mind-boggling amounts of data at high speed."

Fujitsu said will undertake collaborative research with HPC Wales "to advance the use of HPC in priority areas such as the environment, low-carbon energy generation, the life sciences, advanced materials and manufacturing."

Roger Gilbert, CEO of Fujitsu UK and Ireland, reckons: “Supercomputing is entering a very exciting phase in its development as computers are now being used to perform ‘thinking’ tasks rather than just ‘managing’ tasks across an increasingly broad set of private and public sector applications.

"Our work with HPC Wales will be one of the most significant enterprise-class grid systems in Europe today and will be Fujitsu’s largest HPC project in Europe. What’s key for us is that HPC is no longer all about tera- and petaflop ratings alone, rather it is about what the HPC capability is used to achieve and ultimately what impact it has more directly to society and business. We’re confident that our work with HPC Wales will bring significant technology, skills, research, jobs and economic development to the region.”