The Australian National University (ANU) has unveiled the world’s 24th most powerful research supercomputer, with a processing power equivalent to 30,000 desktop computers working in tandem. 


The $100 million Primergy supercomputing project was unveiled at an international computer conference in Salt Lake City late last week.


"The Primergy supercomputer will support Australian research in a wide range of fields including climate change, earth system science and national water management research,” said Federal Minister for Science and Research Senator Chris Evans said.


"In priority areas like climate change, researchers around the country will be able to use the computer to construct the most accurate and detailed models of the Earth's climatic systems that are possible today."


Senator Evans said the world-leading supercomputer will provide crucial support for researchers.


"Australia's research activity is constantly expanding to help answer bigger and more complex questions every day," Senator Evans said.


"Infrastructure like this will help keep Australian researchers at the forefront of global science."


The supercomputer, built by Fujitsu at the National Computational Infrastructure is a partnership between the ANU, CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology, Geoscience Australia and leading Australian universities.


The project is receiving $50 million from the Gillard Government as a key component of the $901 million investment in research infrastructure through the Super Science Initiative.


The supercomputer will be open for business next year.