The Nation

Startup and IT


Super computer for Thailand

A consortium of leading technology organisations is in the process of developing grid computing in Thailand - high-performance computing systems that will be capable of coping with huge amounts of data, to support research, e-science, or an e-science infrastructure.

The organisations, calling themselves the National e-Science Infrastructure Consortium, include the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec), Chulalongkorn University, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thon Buri, Suranaree University of Technology and the Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute.

Nectec director Pansak Sirirutchatapong said the consortium would develop infrastructure to support e-science, so that researchers and organisations would be able to analyse large amounts of data, such as that from projects in genomics, weather analysis, water management, agriculture, nanotechnology and biotechnology. This will elevate and enhance the country's scientific knowledge base and create social and economic benefits.

Nectec plans to provide 240-core CPU computing to support the project by the end of this year and to increase that to a 512-core CPU in the future.

Chulalongkorn University rector Pirom Kamol-Ratanakul said the grid-computing consortium would prepare infrastructure for research and development as a starting point for the transfer of knowledge and human-resources-related science and technology, and expand into the education and services sectors in the future.

King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi rector Booncharoen Sirinaovakul said his university's role would involve developing the infrastructure and software for grid computing, increasing the performance of the system and applying it to support engineering development.

Suranaree University of Technology's rector Prasart Suebka said that the consortium was not only creating the potential for scientific research and development in the country, but was also joining with the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, which would be useful to this research and development.

The director of the Hydro Informatics Division of the Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute, Royol Chitradon, said the consortium would be able to share the knowledge base as a resource, create a researcher network and cluster related science and technology among its members.

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