SFU’s high-performance computer to receive revolutionary upgrade

Simon Fraser University’s high-performance computer at the Cedar National Host Site has received a major boost with more than CA$80m in funding.

The investment will enable SFU to create a new system that will seamlessly replace and upgrade the existing high-performance computer, which is nearing the end of its life.

The new system will match or exceed Cedar’s current storage capacity and computing performance, benefitting tens of thousands of users across Canada.

New funding will boost innovation across multiple sectors

The combined investment includes $40,946,000 from the Digital Research Alliance of Canada, $24,567,600 from the Province of British Columbia, and more than $15m in contributions from partners.

The Alliance is also contributing an additional $248,000 to fund three research-support positions.

“For years, SFU’s Cedar supercomputer has empowered Canadian researchers to tackle problems in sectors ranging from personalised medicine for better patient care to green technologies to help fight climate change,” explained Joy Johnson, SFU’s president and vice-chancellor.

“These generous investments from the Digital Research Alliance of Canada and the Province of British Columbia will allow us to continue making a difference for BC, Canada and the world through advanced computing power.

World-leading capabilities of the Cedar high-performance computer

SFU’s Cedar, which was one of the top 100 supercomputers in the world (and top 15 on the Green 500 when it was built), provides advanced computing power and storage to fuel research innovation.

Among its many achievements, the supercomputer has allowed SFU engineering science professor Mirza Faisal Beg to spearhead AI research that could help redefine cancer treatment.

His breakthrough research uses artificial intelligence (AI) to enable imaging of the human body and organ measurements much faster than traditional methods, signalling a leap forward in harnessing AI for individually personalised healthcare solutions.

Dugan O’Neil, SFU vice-president of research and innovation, said: “This significant support for the high-performance computer at SFU ensures that thousands of researchers across academia, government, and industry have the computing power to achieve transformational innovations.

“From vital discoveries in healthcare to advancements in clean technologies and artificial intelligence, today’s investment will benefit Canadians and the economy now and into the future.”

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