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Supercomputer 'Fionn' introduced at Dunsink Observatory

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Supercomputer 'Fionn' introduced at Dunsink Observatory

Supercomputer 'Fionn' introduced at Dunsink Observatory

Oscar ODonaghue with Minister Sean Sherlock TD

A supercomputer called Fionn which will quadruple computing resources previously available to scientists in Ireland has been introduced at the Dunsink Observatory.

Involving a €3.7m investment through Science Foundation Ireland and €450,000 from industry, Fionn is a hybrid machine capable of running many different applications and workflows.

Minister Seán Sherlock TD, Minister for Research and Innovation and the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) introduced Fionn, a name chosen by DCU CoderDojo Oscar O’Donaghue in ICHEC’s ‘Name our Computer’ competition.

The name stems from Fionnachtana (Irish for discovery) and Fionn mac Cumhaill.

Minister Sherlock said: “Oscar’s competition entry aptly reflects the versatility of the new ICHEC machine and the scope of the research and developed [R&D] that it will enable, while simultaneously placing it firmly within an Irish context.”

Fionn will enable researchers to solve their scientific and industry-related problems quicker by scaling out and scaling up their R&D.

It will enable all domains of science from nano material discovery and medical device development to weather forecasting and renewable energy. It is also designed to solve the Big Data challenges of today that require large computing power and large amounts of RAM and storage.
Professor Mark Ferguson, director general of SFI, said: "Access to data processing power on the scale that the new supercomputer will provide is essential if Ireland is to realise its ambitions in the area of Big Data.

“The sector is growing by 40pc annually and presents a real opportunity for Ireland to leverage the requirements of convergent industries and the capabilities of academia through partnerships that will help create high value jobs.

“The analytical capability that resources like this new supercomputer will provide can help position Ireland as an international hub for Big Data research."


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