Ireland is #2 globally for Supercomputers per capita
Ireland is #8 globally in terms of Supercomputing performance per capita
The charts above show how Ireland fares against other nations globally in terms of the number of supercomputers and the performance of these supercomputers on a per-capita basis. In particular the top chart shows that Ireland does remarkably well in terms on HPC infrastructure. However, this masks an important point.
Research Vs. Industry
As the director of ICHEC correctly pointed out Irish researchers fare very badly in terms of access to computational resources in the EU per capita. Lets see why. If instead of looking at the headline numbers from the top500 we only look at research and academic machines (excluding Industry machines) we see that Ireland is bottom of the EU list of top research machines. In terms of per-capita Rmax (performance) and core count we are also well below the EU average and significantly below similar sized nations (e.g. Finland & Denmark).
And what about Industry machines? Well that’s a different story. The data is more patchy with few Industry machines listed on the top500 database but what they do show is interesting. Of the eight countries that have Industry machines in the top500 Ireland is still seventh on that list (at a very respectable number 357). We are second behind Finland though in Rmax and core count per capita which is by itself very impressive.
However, this simply highlights the plight of researchers in Ireland. Ireland does very well overall due to the impact of Industry machines – but researchers have no access to these. In terms of research/academic machines we’re back of the class.