Our Bragg supercomputer cluster was among the world's first to combine traditional CPUs with more powerful graphics processing units or GPUs, providing a world class computational and simulation science facility.

The challenge

Science generates huge amounts of data

Scientific research is constantly generating vast quantities of highly complicated data. Handling and processing this information requires advances in data management, analytics, computing and collaboration tools.

The Bragg Graphic Processing Unit Cluster is a high performance computing platform available at CSIRO.

Graphics processing units (GPUs) have typically been used to render complex graphics in computer games. However they can also be used to accelerate scientific computing by multi-tasking on hundreds of computing cores.

Using GPUs to analyse large and complex research data sets is a relatively new global trend in computing.

We are the forefront of GPU supercomputing for scientific and industrial research, helping to solve big data challenges in fields such as bioscience, image analysis, fluid dynamics modelling and environmental science.

Our response

Speeding up science with Bragg

Our GPU cluster was named Bragg, after Australia’s first Nobel prize-winners – father-and-son physicists Lawrence and Henry Bragg. It was the first of its kind in Australia combining traditional central processing units (CPUs) with graphics processing units (GPUs) when it launched in 2009.

Running dual Linux and Windows applications it caters for the needs of scientists who use different operating systems for running software codes and analysing data from experiments.

It is currently one of the fastest supercomputers running a Windows HPC operating system in the world. Ranking in the TOP500 list of the world's fastest and most powerful supercomputers, Bragg is also ranked highly on the Green500 list - a ranking determined by energy efficiency, making it one of the most energy efficient supercomputers in Australia.

The GPU cluster was supplied by Xenon Systems of Melbourne and is located at a data centre in Canberra, Australia.

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