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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T022221/1
Title: Baskerville: a national accelerated compute resource
Principal Investigator: Morris, Professor AJ
Other Investigators:
Cai, Dr B Lazauskas, Dr T Wakelin, Dr J J
Basham, Dr M Heron, Mr M T Edmondson, Dr A C
Jenkins, Dr D J Hetherington, Dr JP Richards, Dr A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: School of Computer Science
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 13 October 2020 Ends: 31 March 2025 Value (£): 5,225,706
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
28 Oct 2019 Tier 2 HPC Interview Panel 2019 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Modern science demands high-performance computing platforms that support a diverse range of activities, from quantum mechanical simulations of high-performance electronic materials, large scale molecular dynamics simulations, to data-driven machine learning-based analysis of high-resolution, high-content scientific images. We propose a science-based, service oriented, flexible, and fully-featured mid-level national facility for high performance computing - Baskerville (named for John Baskerville, the enlightenment-era Birmingham industrialist) - that supports a wide range of applications and interaction modes using a new technological platform featuring the new generation of NVIDIA A100 GPUs to provide a state-of-art-accelerated facility that will facilitate new types of research that are impractical or impossible on the existing national infrastructure. We will be amongst the first to receive the next generation multi-GPU systems with NVLINK interconnect through a commitment from our technology partners to supply us on their early shipment programme.

Our consortium of partners, led by the University of Birmingham, brings together three major research facilities- the Rosalind Franklin Institute, the Alan Turing Institute, and Diamond Light Source. Collectively the partners are involved in EPSRC activity worth more than £550m. Birmingham hosts several national centres and facilities including the National Centre for Nuclear Robotics, the National Buried Infrastructure Facility, and the UK National Quantum Technology Hubs for Sensors and Metrology, and Sensing and Timing. The Franklin and its partners are developing next generation technologies for studying life, building a new generation of scientific instruments. The Turing is the UK national centre for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, coordinating and catalysing research across the country. Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron light source, and is an essential tool in a huge range of scientific applications, from the development of the next generation of advanced materials for aerospace, to studies of the structure of proteins. This new system will therefore benefit a broad range of EPSRC researchers working with these facilities and beyond, with the system available to all EPSRC-funded researchers.

The new facility will be hosted in Birmingham's purpose-built, water-cooled datacentre which enables the entire system to be kept at optimal temperatures without needing air conditioning, dramatically reducing its running costs and energy usage. High-speed links to the Harwell campus where Diamond and the Franklin are based will enable rapid transfer of large datasets and we will put in place automated pipelines for data transfer and processing that allow researchers to take full advantage of the technology.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk