The Council for Scientific and Industrial Relations (CSIR) has through its Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC), donated a portion of its supercomputer to Ghana, where it will be used for human capital development purposes in preparation for the data processing requirements associated with the Square Kilometre Array’s (SKA) project. The donation of the supercomputer components is part of the launch of the first African SKA satellite outside of South Africa that recently took place in Accra,Ghana.
The single rack of compute nodes, with storage and network, was part of the CHPC’s decommissioned Tsessebe supercomputer and is now dedicated to training and capacity development at the Ghana Earth Observatory and will form the initial part of the processing of the data emanating from the satellite. The technology transfer forms part of the first phase of the CHPC’s SKA Readiness project involving repurposing and transfer of high performance computing (HPC) systems that are out of production to create HPC imprints in the 8 SKA Africa partner countries: Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Mauritius, Mozambique, Kenya, Madagascar and Ghana.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) through the African Renaissance Fund funds the SKA Readiness project. SKA Africa partner countries, with the exception of Kenya and Mozambique who are later in the year, have received HPC systems from three supercomputers: Ranger from the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) in the United States of America, Cambridge supercomputer from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and Tsessebe from the CSIR in South Africa.
The second phase of the SKA Readiness project will start in 2018 through the donation and distribution of Stampede, a next generation supercomputer from TACC, which will expose the partner countries to different types of HPC technologies.