STA, 23 December 2018 - The University of Maribor is planning to establish with partners a national supercomputer centre whose performance would be comparable to global centres of the kind. The university, which has acquired funds EU and national budget funds for the HPC RIVR project, hopes it will launch the centre in 2020.
"This is a huge thing for eastern Slovenia and Maribor, which brings numerous multiplicative effects," Zoran Ren, the head of the project and the vice-chancellor for research and development has told the STA.
Ren believes that the boosting of the supercomputing capacity at the university will not only contribute to the development of the field in Slovenia and research in numerous scientific fields, but also provide an impetus to the economy.
According to him, the emerging supercomputer system will help in prediction of weather phenomena, simulation of social phenomena, optimisation of individual products, simulation of elementary particle physics, development of crypto technologies, deep learning, AI and similar.
The partners in the project are the Maribor-based Institute of Information Science (IZUM) and the Faculty of Information Studies in Novo Mesto (FIŠ).
"Currently the best supercomputer in Slovenia has the capacity of around 38 teraFLOPS and is owned by a private company. As part of the HPC RIVR project, we will set up a supercomputer with the capacity of 1.5 petaFLOPS. If set up today, it would be the 23rd best-performing supercomputer in Europe and 90th in the world," said Ren.
The project has been estimated at EUR 20m, of which EUR 16.5m is planned to be spent on high-performance computer equipment. The supercomputer will be housed at the IZUM.
In the coming months, a prototype supercomputer with the capacity of 220 teraFLOPS* will first be set up at the university's computer centre, which will serve for development and testing of solutions that will be used for the main supercomputer.
The project is expected to provide jobs to an additional 30 development engineers at the university, IZUM and FIŠ.
* A teraFLOP refers to a trillion floating point operations per second, as explain in the following video