The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre


Magnus Technical Specifications


Vital statistics

Manufacturer: Cray Inc. (USA)
Model: XC40 Series Supercomputer
Compute Processors: Intel Xeon E5-2690V3 “Haswell” processors (12-core, 2.6 GHz)
Computing Power: 1,097 TeraFLOPS (1 PetaFLOP+).
Memory: 93 Terabytes (64 GB of DDR4-2133 per compute node).
Interconnect: Cray Aries interconnect, at 72 gigabits/sec per node
Network Topology: Cray Dragonfly – 56% populated
Nodes: 1488 (35,712 processor cores, two compute processors per node)
1.7 tonnes/cabinet
Power consumption:
circa. 50 kWatts/cabinet
Local storage:
Sonexion 1600 Data Storage System, 3 Petabytes, w/ 70 GB/sec sustained r/w performance


Interesting facts

  • Aggregate internode communications are over 100,000 gigabits per second – which is the same as the combined speed of every household in Australia being connected to the average National Broadband Network plan simultaneously.
  • Magnus is more than three orders of magnitude more powerful than the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre’s first terascale supercomputer, named Cognac, which began production in 2005.
  • At the time of writing, Magnus is the most powerful public research supercomputer in the Southern Hemisphere. It debuted at #41 on the November 2014 Global Top500 list of supercomputers. In the most recent June 2015 Top500 list, it was ranked at #58.
  • Approximately 4km of optical and copper cables link Magnus’s processors together, in a Dragonfly topology, for capability-scale computations.
  • The cabinet artwork on Magnus, ‘SKA Satellites on the Murchison’ by Margaret Whitehurst, is an homage to the Centre’s close connection to the north-west of Western Australia. It has been designed to reflect ‘the ground below’, in reference to geoscience, one of the areas of science the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre supports most closely.
  • In November 2014, Magnus was also ranked at #77 in the world’s Green500 most energy efficient supercomputers, with 1,573.56 MegaFLOPS per Watt.