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Supercomputer to help Australia reach for the stars

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Wednesday, 8 June 2011


Australia and New Zealand’s bid to host the world’s most ambitious science project, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), has been strengthened by the launch of the first stage of the Pawsey Supercomputing facilities in Perth.

The Pawsey High-Performance Computing Centre for SKA Science, made possible with an investment of $80 million by the Gillard government through the Super Science Initiative, will create a computer that is capable of processing at petaflop speeds - the equivalent of a stack of laptops 2.5km high every second.

Launching the first stage of the iVEC@Murdoch Supercomputer in Perth, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said the supercomputer illustrates Australia’s ability to deliver and support world-class advanced information and communication technology infrastructure.

“In addition to getting ready for the SKA, the Pawsey supercomputing facilities promote world class research into areas such as energy exploration and agriculture production that will greatly enhance our national prosperity and quality of life,” Senator Carr said.

“The Gillard Labor Government’s investment in the Pawsey supercomputing facilities,coupled with our commitment to deliver the National Broadband Network, gives our SKA bid great strength.”

“The SKA will allow us to learn more about our universe than ever before. In the process it will collect volumes of data that no project has ever dealt with.”

The Western Australian Government is providing significant support for operational costs of the Pawsey facilities. iVEC and the CSIRO are contributing $3.1 million for the 2011-12 financial year.

For more information on the Australian and New Zealand bid to host the SKA, visit For more information about the Government’s support for Australia’s research infrastructure, visit

Media contacts: Sheena Ireland, Minister's Office, 0427 092 100 David Luchetti, Department, 02 6213 6068 / 0411 021 135