The Bureau of Meteorology has called tenders for a new supercomputer to be used by BOM and CSIRO in weather and climate research.
The tender calls for the supply, installation, maintenance, and support of two balanced, high performance, parallel computational systems and peripheral equipment - one will meet the Bureau's operational service and development requirements and the other to meet the computational science requirements, operational and associated development requirements for the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) system to be located at the Australian National University (ANU) supercomputer facility.
It is intended that the supply of the supercomputer systems, and their interoperability and capability, will meet the research science requirements of the new joint Bureau/CSIRO Centre of Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR), established in 2007, Australian Community Climate Earth System Simulator (ACCESS) program, and the earth system science user community.
This follows the purchase by BOM of a supercomputer in 2003 that was designed to enhance its weather and climate forecasting services.NEC Australia secured the contract to supply the last BOM supercomputer that included an NEC SX-6 parallel vector supercomputer.
In 2005, a powerful supercomputer (SGI Altix 3700) was installed at the Australian National University, providing more than 600 researchers with access via a network of universities and research organisations - the APAC partnership. This partnership involves the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation, the ac3 group in NSW, TPAC in Tasmania, iVEC in WA, SAPAC in South Australia, VPAC in Victoria, the CSIRO and ANU.