SGI, university open $5.6M supercomputing training hub

Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Silicon Graphics (SGI) have set up a new facility which aims to become a regional hub for promoting and developing training capabilities in supercomputing and visualization.

The S$10 million (US$5.6 million) Nanyang Centre for Supercomputing and Visualization (NCSV), a 50:50 joint venture, will focus on the development of strategic supercomputing and visualization capabilities for research and development in engineering and the life sciences.

Under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed last week, NTU and SGI will jointly invest in the manpower resources and the hardware infrastructure over the next five years. Currently, the center has a SGI Origin 3000 as well as 540G bytes of storage.

The agreement includes exchanges between NTU staff and SGI, as well as annual regional engineering and life sciences symposiums and conferences, workshops and seminars. In addition, both partners will set up a Mineset Datamining Training and Education Centre at the NCSV.

The center will promote awareness and interest in technology trends in genomics, proteomics (the study of proteins), bio-medical modelling and engineering simulations and analysis.

Said NTU president Cham Tao Soon: "These new disciplines include those in the life saving arena, ranging from diagnostic imaging for surgical simulation and planning, to the molecular modelling studies for novel drug design."

Among other things, the facility enables scientists to crunch information on the human genome and make the information viewable in three-dimensional images on computer screens.

It will also create a conducive work environment for professionals to leverage the use of high performance computing and visualization facilities.

Already the center has secured a number of research projects. One example is the joint research project with the Hospital of Sick Children in Ontario on the development of a unified interface for the Life Science Community to access computational research tools and a consolidated training and information resource pool.

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