Aston will make the innovative Cray XD1 supercomputer available to researchers in all of its departments in the School of Engineering and Applied Science for advanced work in chemical engineering, applied chemistry, computer science, electronic engineering, engineering systems and management, and information engineering. Aston will also exploit the Cray XD1 system's field programmable gate array (FPGA) capabilities for acceleration of key applications.
"We compared the Cray XD1 supercomputer with two 'conventional' clusters from other manufacturers", stated Professor Ian Nabney of Aston University's Neural Computing Research Group. "On the Fast Fourier Transforms (FFT) benchmarks, the Cray scaled much better to larger problems, offering about 3.5 times faster computation at 16 nodes for one-million point FFTs. The faster computation on problems with high communication overhead is the most important feature for our work. We also expect to use the system's FPGAs for random number generation for large Monte Carlo simulations."
"Cray is excited that Aston University researchers will rely on the Cray XD1 supercomputer to support their advanced scientific and engineering work. We will collaborate closely with Professor Nabney and his colleagues to ensure that Aston's important goals for this system are met", stated Ulla Thiel, vice president responsible for Cray Europe.