Thursday, June 7, 2012

Visiting the Supercomputer

It doesn’t happen often but I was a bit lost for words today! Bernard Miville, NIWA's Manager of Operational Forecasting showed me around NIWA's supercomputer. (Super is an understatement!)  

This computer looks a little like something out of the old TV show ‘Get Smart’ but with a huge capability. It is as powerful as about 7000 laptops working simultaneously and has its own power generator.

Floor specially strengthened
to hold the weight.
Costing over $12 million, it is in a specially-built room that has a sensitive temperature-controlled system and a lifted, reinforced floor to hold its 18 tonne weight. All cabling and pipes are below. Water is piped through for air conditioning 

Note the thickness of these pipes...
... here working below.
Water pipes keeping things cool.

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