SA’s Latest Cheetah is the Fastest Computer in Africa

South Africa’s CSIR has unveiled the fastest computer in Africa, which has been named Lengau, the Setswana for cheetah, it was announced on Tuesday.

super computer
Source: Twitter @dstgovza.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s Centre for High Performance Computing showed off the petaflops (PFLOPs) machine in Cape Town.

“This is a supercomputer with processing speed capable of a thousand-trillion floating point operations per second,” the CSIR said in a statement. “Floating point operations or flops are used in computing to calculate extremely long numbers.”

The Dell computer’s speed of roughly one petaflops (1000 teraflops) is 15 times faster than its predecessor, which was named Tsessebe, Setswana for antelope, according to the CSIR, which added that Tsessebe ranked 311 on the world’s top 500 supercomputers.

Dr Happy Sithole, the director of CHPC, said: “When we started in 2007, we took inspiration from the fastest animals in the land and named our first high performance computing system iQudu (Xhosa for Kudu) which boasted 2.5 teraflops (which is 2.5 trillion operations per second).”

“For our country to grow at the required rate, as set out in the National Development Plan, it needs to change gear by building capacity in the production and dissemination knowledge,” Dr Thomas Auf der Heyde, deputy director general of research development and support at the Department of Science and Technology, said at the launch.

“The CHPC represents a deliberate move by this country to invest in modernising our research and development. High-performance computing and advanced data technologies are powerful tools in enhancing the competiveness of regions and nations,” he said.

The Dell HPC system is comprised of 1,039 Dell PowerEdge servers, based on Intel Xeon processors totalling 19 racks of compute nodes and storage. It has a total Dell Storage capacity of five petabytes, and uses Dell Networking ethernet switches and Mellanox EDR InfiniBand with a maximum interconnect speed of 56 GB/s.