Report: Brazil’s Biggest Supercomputer Down, Can’t Pay Its Bills

State-funded HPC lab doesn’t have enough cash to pay its huge electricity bill

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

June 27, 2016

1 Min Read
National Laboratory Scientific Computing Brazil
Inside the HPC data center at Brazil’s National Laboratory of Scientific Computing (Photo: LNCC)

The largest supercomputing facility in Brazil has been mostly dark for months because its administration, funded by the Rio De Janeiro State government, hasn’t been able to pay the data center’s electricity bills.

The Santos Dumont cluster, operated by the National Laboratory of Scientific Computing (Laboratório Nacional de Computação Científica), has been mostly inactive since May, ZDNet reported, citing the Brazilian radio station CBN. Rio’s state government is nearing default and has not allocated enough money to pay for the center’s monthly energy bill, which is close to $150,000.

The cluster consists of three systems, one of which, Santos Dumont GPU, has been listed on the Top500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers. The system was 146th on the list in June 2015 and 265th on the latest list, released earlier this month.

Besides being the country’s supercomputing pride, the complex plays a big role in scientific research. As a result of the funding shortages, six research projects are running behind schedule and 75 more haven’t been started, ZDNet reported, one of the projects related to genetic mapping of the Zika virus, whose current outbreak started in Brazil last year.

See also: Here's How Much Energy All US Data Centers Consume

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