HECToR houses scientific sims

The government is investing £52 million in a supercomputer to be used by UK scientists and engineers for complex modelling calculations.


The government is investing £52 million in a supercomputer to be used by UK scientists and engineers to carry out complex modelling calculations.



The computer, HECToR (High-End Computing Terascale Resource), will be built in 2007. It will execute simulations across a range of disciplines including climatology, earth sciences, particle physics, cosmology, astrophysics, chemistry, materials, fluid dynamics, atomic and molecular physics, plasma physics and nanoscience.



HECToR could run at speeds of up to 100 teraflops, which is 100 calculations a second.



The funding comes from the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Large Facilities Capital Fund, established to ensure UK scientists have access to advanced, large-scale experimental projects and facilities. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which the DTI funds, will be managing the project on behalf of Research Councils UK and is contributing towards the cost of the service. The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) are also donating to the project, reflecting the breadth of science that will be supported.



Announcing the investment, Lord Sainsbury said, “HECToR will be an indispensable tool for scientists across the entire breadth of the UK research base. The computational limits of the existing facilities are now being reached as new and increasingly complex research programmes place increasing demands on the computing power available. It is imperative that our scientists are able to access the best possible computer facilities to build on, and support, the work they do in the laboratory.”