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Durham hosts new £10m supercomputer for cosmic research

Written by Wed 18 Oct 2023

Durham University has launched a new £10 million ($12.1 million) supercomputer to investigate the mysteries of the universe. 

The Cosmology Machine 8 (COSMA 8) has the power and memory of 17,000 home personal computers. The supercomputer consists of 67,584 individual processors working together to produce high-powered simulations of the Universe. 

Featuring half a Petabyte of memory, Durham University stated it’s the most powerful supercomputer dedicated to academic research in the UK for calculations requiring exceptionally large memory. 

Launched officially by Shadow Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, Chi Onwurah, the supercomputer will be used by scientists and test theories about the origin of our Universe among other areas of research. 

Other theories included within the scope of research include dark matter, dark energy, the formation of galaxies, gravitational waves, the evolution of stars and the origin of planets. 

“Together with our partners around the world, Durham is at the forefront of research into some of the most fascinating and fundamental questions in modern science,” said Durham University in a statement. 

COSMA 8 is hosted by the University of Durham’s Institute for Computation Cosmology on behalf of the DiRAC High Performance Computing Facility. The supercomputer is the result of £10 million ($12.1 million) primarily from UK Research and Innovation, administered by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).  

The supercomputing facility COSMA has been in existence since July 2001 and with the latest version is now in its eighth generation. COSMA’s current computational power is said to have driven world-leading cosmology research projects, including the Virgo Consortium for Cosmological Supercomputer Simulations led by Durham University. 

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Written by Wed 18 Oct 2023

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