Easter Bush set for new super computer

The first ARCHER super computer, pictured, was launched at Easter Bush in 2014.
The first ARCHER super computer, pictured, was launched at Easter Bush in 2014.

Midlothian is to host a £79 million national supercomputer that will be five times quicker than the UK’s current capabilities.

The supercomputer, known as ARCHER2, is hundreds of thousands of times more powerful than a traditional desktop computer and will be used to run massive research simulations.

The new resource, housed at Edinburgh University’s Advanced Computing Facility at Easter Bush, will be integral in aiding discoveries in medicine, climate science and aerospace.

It will also build on previous British breakthroughs in targeted treatments for arthritis and HIV.

The University will work with United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) to install the high performance computing service over the next year.

EPCC, formerly the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre, is a supercomputing centre based at the University of Edinburgh.

Professor Mark Parsons, EPCC director, said: “ARCHER2 will provide UK science with an unparalleled capability to model and simulate the world around us. This is a real vote of confidence in the University’s supercomputing centre, EPCC, which is internationally recognised for its excellence in computational science.”

ARCHER2 is part of a £200m investment by HM Treasury, announced in last week’s Spring Statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond.

Lothian List MSP Miles Briggs (Con) said: “Great to see the £79m announcement in last week’s spring statement for a new ‘Archer 2’ supercomputer facility for researchers hosted at Edinburgh University’s Easter Bush campus.

“This significant investment will help pave the way for new discoveries in pharmaceuticals, climates science and aerospace.”