Trinity College Installs IBM’s Largest InfiniBand Cluster in Europe

Posted on: 31 August 2005

Trinity College Dublin has installed IBM’s largest InfiniBand Cluster in Europe.  The cluster is equivalent to approx. 1000PCs with super fast communications between each processor.

The €1.4m supercomputer, funded through the Higher Education Authority’s (HEA) PRTLI, is part of the Institute for Information Technology and Advanced Computing at TCD – a €9m research project tackling some of the largest computational science challenges in the world.

“The impact of this programme on computational science in Ireland cannot be underestimated. The computing resource facilitates the development of larger and more complex simulations.  Areas to benefit include cancer research, new drug design and development, anti-malaria vaccines, development of pollution controls and new electronic devices,” explained Dr Graeme Watson, Director of the Trinity Centre for High Performance Computing.

The supercomputer will be listed in the next ‘Top 500’ list to be announced at the Supercomputing Conference in Seattle this November. The recent upgrade in Trinity’s hardware comprises a 712 processor Opteron cluster with 10 Gbps connectivity provided by and leveraging Voltaire’s 288 port switch for high-speed InfiniBand connectivity Voltaire, the world leader in InfiniBand interconnect.

“Trinity College Dublin needed extremely fast performance, low latency and a solution that could scale in order to accelerate important research and scientific discoveries,” said John Asher, vice president of European sales, Voltaire.  “We are very pleased that the college selected Voltaire’s 288 port switch with the IBM cluster to tackle their complex computing challenges.”

This phase of the IITAC project has funded 35 PhD students, 12 Post Doctoral researchers and provides technical expertise and project management. It is the second HEA funded research programme, following an investment of €10m in 2000 into a purpose-built computational science environment in the newly opened Lloyd Institute on the campus.

“Using industry standard platforms and technologies, this powerful cluster is poised to help further the advancement of science and computer technology,” said Diana  Grimmer, Worldwide Linux Product Marketing Manager, IBM Systems & Technology Group.  “This new system places Trinity at the forefront of High Performance Computing and should go a long way towards helping solve some of the world’s toughest problems, such as cancer research and helping scientists identify cures for diseases like tuberculosis and malaria.”


Further information from:

Dr Graeme Watson, Director of Trinity Centre for High Performance Computing,
Tel: 01 608 1357 / e-mail:

Conor Lynch, Text 100 Public Relations for IBM
Tel : 01 815 4744 / e-mail:

Christy Lynch, Public Relations, Voltaire
Tel : 978.439.5407 / e-mail :

Notes for Editors:

About Trinity Centre for High Performance Computing
The Trinity Centre for High Performance Computing is a research support and development unit which leads the IITAC programme.  Its mission is to expand the use of advanced computing technologies both in academic research and in business applications. The Centre provides a range of services from basic support of computational systems, clusters, and supercomputers, all the way through to the ab-initio development of software solutions to model the most complex systems and processes.  Working with researchers in TCD, local businesses, and international partners, the Centre aims to develop and support multidisciplinary research projects which are enabled only by combining expertise from many different research areas.

More information may be found at

Trinity College Dublin is proud to be a partner in the Irish Centre for High-End Computing Centre (ICHEC) which expects to deliver terascale computing and storage in Autumn 2005.

About IBM
IBM is the leading provider of supercomputing power worldwide, with over 188 Teraflops of power (trillions of calculations per second) on the TOP500 List of Supercomputers.  This represents more than 35.5 percent of the total processing power on the list.  IBM is the world’s largest information technology company, with more than 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate.  Drawing on resources from across IBM and key Business Partners, IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that enable customers, large and small, to take full advantage of the new era of e-business.

IBM will celebrate its 50th anniversary in Ireland in 2006. It now employs over 3,200 people in several operations around Dublin, in manufacturing, eProcurement, sales and marketing, software development, consultancy, services and customer support and treasury operations.

About Voltaire
Voltaire is the leader in interconnect solutions for high-performance grid computing. Voltaire’s InfiniBand-based interconnect solutions deliver significant return on investment to the data centre by improving the performance and utilization of clustered databases, shared servers and storage. For HPC customers, Voltaire leads the industry with the largest switch to support clusters scaling from hundreds to thousands of nodes. With business headquarters near Boston, Massachusetts, Voltaire is certified by the IBTA’s Integrator’s List. More information about Voltaire is available at or by calling 1-800-865-8247.