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Official opening of the Exascale Center

Submitter: Albert-Jan Boonstra
Description: The SKA radio telescope is estimated to generate the same amount of data per year as the entire WWW will in 2020. Current technology is insufficient to handle that volume of data for affordable cost. To address this unprecedented challenge, ASTRON and IBM scientists in the Netherlands and Switzerland have launched an initial five-year collaboration called DOME, named for the protective cover on telescopes and the famous Swiss mountain. The Dome project will investigate enabling technologies for the SKA in the context of the following research themes:
  1. Data & Streaming; an enormous stream of data has to flow from the antennas, through local storage, into central storage, and this data needs to be accessible and maintainable;
  2. Green (super)computing; the energy used to manage these amounts of data is prohibitive with current technology. Research is needed for technology that reduces the energy usage;
  3. Nanophotonics; to develop low-cost high-bandwidth optical interconnect technology and photonic signal processing systems.
The DOME researchers are working in the 'ASTRON & IBM Center for Exascale Computing', currently located at the ASTRON building in Dwingeloo, with an envisaged move to the 'Assen Knowledge Campus' towards the end of the project. The DOME project is planned to run for 5 years, from February 2012 until January 2017. The 'ASTRON & IBM Center for Exascale Computing' is funded through the DOME project, funded by the Dutch Ministry of EL&I and the Province of Drenthe.

Today is a important occasion for the project and the exascale centre: the official opening. The photograph shows the new entry sign at the main entrance, marking the centre as a third major entity on the ASTRON/JIVE premises.

Copyright: Jan Noordam
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