Ireland's new supercomputer 'Fionn' launched

Wednesday 13 November 2013 21.29
Fionn will quadruple the high powered computing resources previously available to scientists in the country
Fionn will quadruple the high powered computing resources previously available to scientists in the country

Ireland's new €3.7m supercomputer, which will quadruple the high powered computing resources previously available to scientists in the country, has been launched at an event in Dublin.

The machine, named Fionn, will be capable of running many different applications, and will enable researchers in Ireland to solve their scientific problems more quickly.

Fionn will be used for a whole range of scientific applications, including nano material discovery, medical device development, weather forecasting and renewable energy.

The 8,400 computer cores and 24 terabytes of RAM that make up the device are located in the Telecommunications Software and Systems Group data centre at Waterford Institute of Technology.

It will be managed and operated by the Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC), which grants access to it through a process where applications for its use are peer reviewed and chosen by ICHEC's Science Council.

It will run non-stop for the next four years, providing around 295,000,000 hours of computation.

€450,000 of the funding for the new computer has come from private industry, with the balance coming from Government through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).

According to Professor Mark Ferguson, the Director General of SFI, 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.

He added that the sector is growing at 40% a year, and the new computer will create opportunities for job creation by allowing industry and academia to create partnerships.

The computer's name was chosen by Oscar O'Donoghue, a student from DCU CoderDojo, who won a national competition for children run by the ICHEC.

The name comes from Fionnachtana, the Irish for discovery, and Fionn Mac Cumhaill.