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Orion laser facility

Orion is one of the most powerful lasers and largest laser facilities in the UK.

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A unique national asset

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World-class expertise

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New supercomputing capability upgrade for AWE

AWE is to receive an upgrade to its high performance supercomputing systems to further boost the company’s sophisticated scientific and technological capabilities.

The upgrade to AWE’s existing supercomputer, called Spruce, will provide AWE with even greater scale and flexibility to complete scientific modelling at higher resolutions and faster processing speeds than ever before.

The upgrade to the Spruce supercomputers, known as Project Rosewood, comprises, two high performance SGI ICE XA systems with industry leading energy efficiency that has been specifically designed to run complex workloads at petaflop speeds (trillions of calculations per second).

The overall performance is in the order of 2.0 petaflops or 2 quadtrillion (thousand trillion) floating-point operations per second.

The addition of Rosewood, which will be operational towards the end of the year, allows AWE to refresh its computing capability in line with the latest technological advances and is part of the company’s continuing investment in infrastructure and facilities to support the science programme.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty prohibits any test that produces a nuclear yield underground, underwater, in the atmosphere or in space. AWE must therefore continually develop methods to verify the safety and reliability of nuclear warheads through a science-based programme.

Paul Tomlinson, Head of High Performance Computing at AWE said: “AWE has world leading science, engineering and technology capabilities. Supercomputing is a critical aspect of AWE research, underpinning the vast majority of our science- based program, so we’re continually looking for ways to enhance and support this work.

“Following the successful installation of Spruce, we turned to SGI once again to help us further enhance our supercomputing capabilities. We’re confident that the new systems will enable us to quickly advance research and development so that we can continue to underwrite the safety and effectiveness of the Trident warhead in the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty era.”

Jorge Titinger, President and CEO of SGI said: “We are honoured that AWE has once again selected an SGI solution to meet their demanding requirements for high performance computing technologies and services.
“We have developed a longstanding and collaborative partnership with AWE, and maintain a continued commitment to ensure they can address the future of nuclear weapons, and safely, strategically advance a range of scientific challenges.”

Notes to Editors

  1. 1.AWE plays a crucial role in national defence by providing and maintaining warheads for Trident, the UK’s nuclear deterrent
  2. AWE is contracted to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) through a Government-owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) arrangement. Whilst our sites and facilities remain in government ownership, their management, day to day operations, and the maintenance of the nuclear stockpile is contracted to a private company AWE Management Limited (AWE ML). AWE ML is a consortium comprising three equal partners: Serco Group plc, the Lockheed Martin Corporation and Jacobs Engineering Group.
  3. AWE press releases are available on our website: www.awe.co.uk. For further information contact Catherine Lynagh on Media@AWE.co.uk 0118 985 6414
  4. SGI is a global leader in high performance solutions for compute, data analytics and data management that enable customers to accelerate time to discovery, innovation, and profitability. Visit sgi.com (sgi.com/) for more information.
  5. Gemma Smith | Atomic PR for SGI | +44(0)207 025 7507| sgiuk@atomicpr.com
    Ben Liao | SGI Investor Relations | (669) 900-8090 | bliao@sgi.com
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