Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles has formally launched an advanced supercomputing capability at the Defence Science and Technology Group site at the Edinburgh Defence Precinct in Edinburgh, South Australia.
The first of its kind in Australia, the state-of-the-art high performance computing capability is up to a million times faster than a standard computer and will enable Defence scientists to analyse large data sets and rapidly perform complex calculations to tackle some of Defence’s most challenging scientific and engineering problems.
Defence’s supercomputing capability will play a vital role in the design, development and analysis of modern weapon systems and national security systems, and will be critical in supporting key AUKUS priorities including nuclear powered submarines, quantum technologies and artificial intelligence.
It is expected that the high performance computing capability will drive the development of disruptive solutions, and the department is actively recruiting to increase the workforce supporting the capability.
The new computing infrastructure is known as ‘Taingiwilta’, which means ‘powerful’ in the language of the Kaurna people, and is housed in a purpose-built secure facility called ‘Mukarntu’, meaning ‘computer’.
“For much of the work done by our Defence scientists, data is critical,” Marles said. “But even more important than the data itself, is the ability to rapidly and reliably analyse and process that data. This high performance computing facility provides a secure and sovereign capability to do just that. The high performance computing capability not only provides Australia with a sovereign capability that allows us to pursue activities in our national interest, but it also gives us a strong foundation for even closer collaboration with partner nations. Defence acknowledges the assistance provided by representatives of the US Department of Defense’s High Performance Computing Modernisation Program who willingly shared their 30 years of knowledge and experience to support Australia’s work to establish this world-class capability.”