Nyriad to Demonstrate New Supercomputer Operating System for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Precursor MWA Telescope at SC17

SC17 - Denver, Colorado, November 14, 2017 — Exascale computing company Nyriad Limited, the first commercial spin-out from the SKA, has been partnering with the International Centre of Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) to design, develop and deploy a ‘Science Data Processing’ (SDP) operating system for the SKA-Low precursor telescope, the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA).

Nyriad will be demonstrating the first commercial product from the collaboration called Nsulate™, a GPU-accelerated storage solution which enables increased storage resilience while reducing the storage power requirements by over 50 percent.

ICRAR are engaged in several aspects of the preconstruction phase for the SKA program, including research, software engineering and data intensive astronomy, and are collaborating with Nyriad on developing a GPU-accelerated OS architecture for next-generation supercomputers. This new OS will eliminate the need for dedicated storage infrastructure while dramatically reducing power consumption and infrastructure costs. It will increase performance by using the GPUs traditionally dedicated to data processing alone to also perform the storage-processing functions for the supercomputer, thereby keeping the storage very close to the computing nodes. Nyriad is further collaborating with ICRAR on GPU-accelerating their Daliuge™ graph processing framework to analyse vast streams of radio antennae data in real-time.

Director of ICRAR's Data Intensive Astronomy Program, Professor Andreas Wicenec, stated, “Nyriad was founded following discussions and consulting work around the SKA data challenges. The Nyriad founders, Matthew A. Simmons (CEO) and Alex St. John, identified a need for innovative approaches merging storage and processing which could benefit the SKA, but it became obvious that many of the ‘Big Data’ projects arising in other sciences, industries and governments would benefit as well.”

"The Universe is a big place,” said Nyriad CTO Alex St. John, “so we’ve been forced to rethink the entire software and hardware stack to come up with new computer designs that can handle the data processing volumes necessary to map the cosmos, Nsulate is the first of a suite of solutions that address these problems." St. John is best known for his early pioneering work at Microsoft on creating the Direct3D API and DirectX media OS that gave rise to modern consumer and HPC GPUs.

The new OS is being demonstrated at Nyriad partner booths TYAN and by HPC Systems at the SuperMicro booth at SC17, and at the Nyriad suite by appointment.

About Nyriad

Nyriad is a New Zealand-based exascale computing company specialising in advanced data storage solutions for big data and high performance computing. Born out of its consulting work on the Square Kilometre Array Project, the company was forced to rethink the relationship between storage, processing and bandwidth to achieve a breakthrough in system stability and performance capable of processing and storing over 160Tb/s of radio antennae data in real-time, within a power budget impossible with any modern IT solutions.


The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) was founded in August 2009 with the specific purpose of supporting Australia’s bid to host the world’s largest radio telescope and one of the largest scientific endeavors in history, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). ICRAR is a joint venture between Curtin University and The University of Western Australia (UWA), with funding support from the State Government of Western Australia. ICRAR has research nodes at both universities and is now host to over 150 staff and postgraduate students.