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Korea to open world’s 11th super science computing hub

Sept. 29, 2011 - 15:22 By
South Korea will soon open a super science data computing hub capable of processing more than 20 petabytes of information, joining a select group of 10 countries that operate such a facility, the science ministry said Thursday.

The new Global Science Experimental Data Hub Center (GSDC) will begin service Saturday, giving scientists and researchers in South Korea and throughout Asia access to an amount of information that was never before possible, according to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

The center will be linked directly with the three laboratories worldwide with particle accelerators that jointly produce 20 petabytes -- 20 quadrillion bytes or 20 million gigabytes -- of information annually.

Those three are the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, the United States’ Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization of Japan. Their studies include extensive research on the Big Bang Theory, the origins of life and the universe.

“If we view the three particle accelerator laboratories as a water tank, it means to have pipelines to each and every one of them and to be able to simply turn the faucet to use 20 petabytes of data whenever and wherever we want,” Jang Haeng-jin, head of the GSDC, was quoted as saying.

Previously, scientists who needed data from any of the particle accelerator-equipped labs had to personally visit their facilities, and even then could be denied access, he added.

Unlike most other global data hubs, the GSDC uses, instead of several super computers, what is called “grid computing” technology that allows it to combine resources from existing and smaller computers to perform a common task.

“The beginning of global data science computing hub service means the country’s grid computing technology and its supercomputer-like capabilities have been recognized internationally,” the science ministry said in a press release.

“This also means scientists in the country can employ more than 100,000 computers at the same time and have access to 20 petabytes of information to finally begin their high energy physics experiments here at home.” (Yonhap News)