An academic consortium's plan to open a Multi-modal Australian Sciences Imaging and Visualisation Environment (MASSIVE) facility to help scientists research illnesses using 3D modelling has received a boost from IBM.
The facility, which is a collaboration between Monash University, CSIRO and the Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing (VPAC) will be run using two of the vendor’s iDataPlex integrated server offerings which features 84 graphic processing units (GPU).
By using a dense GPU core in the facility, scientists can create, analyse and interact with high-resolution scientific images and 3D models. MASSIVE is due to open in Melbourne in March at Monash University's Synchrotron, the country’s only particle accelerator facility.
Synchrotrons use electricity to produce intense beams of light which travel at nearly the speed of light around its tunnels. This light is filtered and adjusted to travel into workstations, where it shows sub-microscopic evidence of material ranging from human tissue to plants.
Australian Synchrotron Head of Science, Dr Andrew Peele, said in a statement that synchrotron science needs technologies that can process in real-time the increasing amounts of data the facility processes.
IBM's technology will also be used as part of a Imaging and Medical Beamline (IMBL) project to produce high resolution CAT scans. The system will allow scientists using the beamline to process and view data as soon as it is captured.
“In the case of the IMBL, which will be used from the middle of 2011, MASSIVE and the IBM technology behind it will provide our users with access to state-of-the-art research facilities,” Dr Peele said.
Funding for the project came from the State Government of Victoria and the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI). The Victorian government has spent $250 million over the last 10 years on scientific and IT facilities such as the Synchrotron.
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