World’s supercomputer Science Data Processor (SDP)

The fastest supercomputer in the world will soon be outpaced by a newer, rival. Scientists completed the engineering design for the first of two paired supercomputers called the Science Data Processor (SDP).

World's supercomputer Science Data Processor (SDP)Together, these supercomputers will manage vast quantities of data collected by the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The team collaborated for five years to produce the hardware, software and algorithms to drive the first of the two supercomputers.

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When completed, the powerhouse processors  one installed in Perth and one in Cape Town will wrangle 600 petabytes of data per year, or “enough to fill more than a million average laptops,” said Maurizio Miccolis.

At the same time that SDP is moving enormous amounts of radio telescope data at record speeds, the supercomputer will also conduct nearly real-time data analysis to sift signal from noise.

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“SDP is where data becomes information,” SKA data-center scientist Rosie Bolton said in the statement. “This is where we start making sense of the data and produce detailed astronomical images.”

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