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HPE supercomputer to tell Singapore that it's hot, humid, probably going to rain

Cray EX beast deployed to improve weather forecasting in country that has basically one season

HPE has booked another supercomputer win, this time providing compute power for the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) to deliver improved weather forecasting and tropical climate research for Singapore and Southeast Asia.

The new supercomputer is another based on the Cray EX architecture [PDF] using AMD Epyc processors, like the Frontier exascale supercomputer in the US, currently ranked as the world's fastest.

According to HPE, the new system delivers nearly twice as much performance as its predecessor at the MSS, with peak performance of 401.4 teraflops. It will help increase forecast accuracy by enabling improved numerical model configurations and analysis of ground and space-based weather observations with the agency's SINGV numerical weather prediction system. At least that's the intention.

SINGV was developed by the Centre for Climate Research Singapore (CCRS) at the MSS, in conjunction with the UK Met Office and others, and is configured specifically for weather forecasts and climate applications in Singapore and the surrounding region.

HPE claims its new supercomputer has the performance required for enhanced forecast post-processing algorithms that use machine learning techniques to improve the quality of forecasts. The computational power also allows higher resolution models to deliver improved weather and climate data.

One such example is a coupled ocean-atmosphere-land-wave modeling system (cSINGV). This was developed to better understand the strong feedback between the atmosphere, land and ocean, which have a significant impact on the weather and climate over Southeast Asia, HPE says.

CCRS Director Professor Dale Barker said the new supercomputer was designed in collaboration with the agency to provide a faster system with next-generation technologies to advance modeling and simulation tools.

"Our scientists and software engineers are committed to developing advanced modeling systems and examining complex data to provide timely weather forecasts for our nation, which due to the island's unique geological positioning, often experiences various weather processes on a daily basis," he said.

The new MSS system is rather more modest than the Frontier exascale supercomputer, comprising 196 of AMD's third-generation Epyc processors, but interconnected using the HPE Slingshot high-performance network fabric and Cray ClusterStor E1000 parallel storage, in line with other supercomputers based on the Cray EX design.

Oddly, neither HPE nor MSS mentions GPUs, which ought to be a perfect fit for the kind of number-crunching algorithms that the new supercomputer will be operating, and which feature in other Cray EX systems such as Frontier, Saudi Arabia's KAUST, and the LUMI supercomputer in Finland.

HPE reckons its supercomputing kit accelerates weather forecasting across the globe by delivering significant computational performance to model and simulate climate data. ®

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