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South Africa's New Supercomputer Delivers World-Class Competitiveness

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Lengau, the crux of the only high-performance computing facility in Africa.

South Africa's Center for High-Performance Computing supports the Lengau supercomputer, designed to make the country a global player in high-performance computing.

Credit: TheNerve Africa

South Africa's Center for High-Performance Computing (CHPC) in Cape Town supports a supercomputer named Lengau, designed to make the country a global player in the international HPC research community.

Lengau, which means "cheetah" in Setswana, became fully operational in May and was ranked 121 on the June Top500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers. A total of 1,013 servers support Lengau's 5-petabyte storage capacity, and the machine boasts more than 24,000 cores and a maximum interconnect speed of 56 Gbps to offer about a petaflop of computing speed.

CHPC director Happy Sithole says the research areas the center covers include "chemistry, bioinformatics, astronomy, computational mechanics, engineering applications or systems, and the earth sciences including climate change."

Sithole also says South Africa's HPC ambitions extend beyond scientific advancement to include industry enhancement in domains such as virtual prototyping. He notes CHPC also is the only HPC research facility in the African continent, which makes its position unique in terms of partnership opportunities.

"I think high-performance computing is vital for competitiveness in developed countries," Sithole says. "In South Africa we also have that ambition to accelerate areas where we are competitive in industry and science."

From Scientific Computing
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