The Oblivion Supercomputer was acquired by UÉ, within the scope of the ENGAGE SKA research infrastructure, to support the processing of massive volumes of data (of the order of Petabytes, equivalent to millions of Gigabytes), resulting from the various research and innovation activities developed in Portugal and within the scope of the design, prototyping and operation of the Square
Kilometer Array (SKA) radio telescope and its forthcoming precursors. It’s reserved for these activities 50% of Oblivion’s CPU time, with the remaining 50% used by the scientific community and companies within the scope of the National Network for Advanced Computing (FCT / FCCN).
Through parallel processing, using hundreds to thousands of computing cores working simultaneously on a single problem, the supercomputer allows, on the one hand, to treat, analyze and obtain information from massive volumes of data and, on the other hand, to perform numerical simulations in various fields of science (for example, the evolution of the Universe after the Big Bang, black holes, formation of planets, evolution of the climate, design of new materials or medicines).
The machine, which will be in production 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except during maintenance periods, also allowsto test and run parallel applications for various science scenarios and of innovation, which may involve monitoring and recovering fires, weather forecasts and natural disasters, optimizing the use of public transport and traffic, improving efficiency in energy supply via various renewable sources, smart factories or precision agriculture.
Oblivion, made up of computing, management and storage nodes and with three internal communication networks (one infiniband computing network and two management networks), was assembled by the company Hewlett Packard, supplied by the company Informantem, SA and is installed at the DECSIS Data Center in Évora.
ENGAGE SKA, a consortium of seven Portuguese institutions, led by the Institute for Telecommunications ( IT) of Aveiro and inserted within the Universities of Évora, Aveiro, Porto and Coimbra, the Polytechnic Institute of Beja and the RAEGE Azores Association, is the interface of the scientific community national to SKA, a global project that, on an unprecedented scale, involves scientists and engineers integrated in more than 100 institutions in 21 countries in the preparation of the construction of the largest radio telescope in the world. SKA will cover an area of one million square meters to collect data through thousands of radio telescopes, which will require radical advances in data processing, computing speed and technological infrastructure.
With global funding of around 4 million Euros, awarded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) through the COMPETE 2020 Program, ENGAGE SKA intends to respond to SKA’s challenges, in line with one of the main axes of the Portugal INCoDe program 2030 (National Digital Competence Initiative e.2030): supercomputing.