Australian high-performance computing (HPC) firm DUG has secured government funding for a campus in Geraldton, Australia.

The company this week said it has received AU$5 million (US$3.4m) in government funding for its long-planned Geraldton campus in Western Australia, some 400km north of Perth.

DUG McCloud

DUG has executed a Financial Assistance Agreement with the Western Australian State Government under the Investment Attraction Fund. The grant funding will be used for the first data hall of its Geraldton HPC Campus and disbursed over a two-year period.

The initial spend will be on the construction of the first data hall and connected infrastructure, with the grant funding up to half of these costs. The company will fund the remaining costs through existing funds and cash from operations.

DUG managing director Matt Lamont said: "This project has the potential to be transformational for the business and for WA in data processing and storage. We have been committed to this project since 2021 and have been working through project funding solutions and groundworks required to the site.”

Previously known as DownUnder GeoSolutions, the company was founded in Perth in 2003 to provide immersion-cooled high-performance compute solutions for scientific data analysis and provides HPC-aaS to customers.

Plans for a “200 petaflops plus” campus in the Narngulu area of Geraldton were first announced in May 2021. Construction was due to begin in the third quarter of 2021 with the Stage 1 data hall to be commissioned in the first half of 2022. The company said at the time it was investing AUS$5 million (then US$3.8m) for the initial data hall from existing cash reserves.

As a result of the new funding, DUG said it will now proceed to sign a lease for 44.5 hectares of land for the construction of the campus.

The company said the first data hall will have a capacity of 400 petaflops of compute – though it's likely this is single-precision. Once complete, existing compute and storage assets will be transferred from the Dug’s current West Perth data center.

The campus is designed to accommodate a total of ten data halls with a reported potential of up to four exaflops of capacity.

DUG currently has HPC deployments in Houston, Texas; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Perth, Australia. Customers include Murdoch University, Australian National University, University of Western Australia, Monash University, shipbuilder Austal Australia, Australia’s CSIRO research agency, crypto firm HODL Ranch, as well as a number of oil and gas firms.