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Press release: PDC donates supercomputer to University of Sarajevo

Published Oct 12, 2017

PDC and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology have donated a supercomputer for teaching purposes to the Faculty of Electrical Engineering (also known as ETF) at the University of Sarajevo.

The system has recently been delivered and installed at ETF. This project was undertaken by PDC and KTH in conjunction with the APU network  (a non-profit organization that contributes to positive development in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Sweden within the spheres of education, entrepreneurship, culture and sports). As you can imagine, moving a supercomputer to another country is a complicated task, so everyone in the project was grateful to the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sweden for providing administrative assistance with the undertaking, and to the Swedish company Plivit Trade  who very kindly donated transport and other services vital for the relocation.

Unloading the supercomputer system at ETF

The supercomputer system that was donated to ETF consists of twenty multiprocessor server machines connected with an Infiniband network, along with suitable cabinets to accommodate and efficiently cool all the components. This is the first supercomputer with such configuration to be hosted at a university in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thanks to this donation, the University of Sarajevo has now joined the ranks of reputable university centres in the region that have a supercomputer infrastructure (such as Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana and Sofia).

The supercomputer had previously been part of PDC’s "Ekman" system, and the cabinets that the system is now housed in at ETF were part of the old computer room at the KTH School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC) before it was decommissioned. However, the real value of the supercomputer that has been given a new lease of life is more than just the market value of its components: the system will provide many students with a better education by giving them direct practical experience in the area of parallel computing. (Two young researchers from ETF have already attended the PDC Summer School “Introduction to High Performance Computing”, so they will be ready to put the system to use straight away!) In addition to being used for teaching, the system will be utilised for research involving simulations, as well as data mining and other compute-intensive operations. Although the system is housed at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, the supercomputer will be available to members of other faculties at the University of Sarajevo, which will maximise the benefits of the supercomputer system for both teaching and research at the university.