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GW4 Isambard HPC Service

University of Bath's collaboration with GW4 Isambard HPC service

GW4 Isambard HPC system
Isambard, a supercomputing collaboration between GW4 universities and the Met Office

About Isambard

The Isambard HPC system was named after the renowned Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and was funded by EPSRC and is a joint project between the GW4 Alliance (universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter) together with the Met Office.

This Tier2 HPC service provides access to multiple advanced architectures within the same system in order to enable evaluation and comparison across a diverse range of hardware platforms.

Isambard is a Cray XC50 system which comprises 10,496 cores and is one of the world's first production Arm-based supercomputers. Each of the 164 compute nodes contains two 32-core Cavium ThunderX2 processors running at 2.1 GHz and has 256 GB of DDR4-2666 memory. The nodes are connected via Cray Aries interconnect with a Dragonfly topology. A Cray Sonexion 3000 storage cabinet provides 480 terabytes of high-performant Lustre storage.

Applying for an allocation on Isambard

As part of our involvement in the project, Bath has 15% of the compute time on the machine.

Researchers can apply for an account to explore the performance of their codes and to make a technical case for their use of Isambard. In order to manage our allocation we distribute time on Isambard via a lightweight allocation panel which reviews the scientific and technical aspects of proposed projects.

We aim to run calls twice a year in June and November and these will be advertised on the University HPC user email list. If you are interested in running a project on Isambard and are not on the list or if you would like to apply for interim time please get in touch with the ARC team.

Further information

Further information about the GW4 Isambard HPC project can be found here:

Isambard user documentation can be found here:


If you have any questions, please contact us.