NCSA ORDERS ADDITIONAL ORIGIN2000 AND ORYNX2 SUPERCOMPUTERS.
This upgrade will enable NCSA researchers to process and visualize larger, more complex applications than ever before. For example, Paul Woodward and David Porter, astrophysicists at the University of Minnesota's Laboratory for Computational Science and Engineering, have already set computing records in their analysis of stellar fluid dynamics. Their most recent computations on NCSA's 128-processor CRAY Origin2000 system modeled the convective flow of energy through a red giant star and used 134 million computational cells. J.P. Morgan, one of NCSA's private sector partners, recently harnessed the power of the Origin installation to run a multitude of complex financial scenarios used to simulate hundreds of future market conditions.
Combined with an existing 128-processor CRAY Origin2000 supercomputer that NCSA recently moved into production mode, these new systems will nearly double NCSA's production-mode Origin(TM) configuration. Until recently, NCSA offered general access to a 384-processor CRAY Origin2000 production configuration in an array of four 64-processor machines and four 32-processor machines and restricted access to its 128-processor machine, for a total of 512 processors today. NCSA will integrate the new Origin and Onyx2 systems into its existing Origin configuration, providing NCSA users with a 768-processor Origin installation.
"This is part of our process of reinventing supercomputing using clusters of 64- and 128-processor CRAY Origin2000 systems," said Larry Smarr, director of NCSA and the Alliance. "Our goal is to build the complex to more than 1,000 processors by the end of the year, and we are well on our way. Already, the Origin array has allowed us to deliver up to 20,000 CPU-hours per week to single projects. Four years ago, our most-powerful supercomputer could only deliver 2,000 CPU-hours per year to a project. This is what supercomputing is all about."
As the leading-edge site for the National Computational Science Alliance (Alliance), NCSA provides unique national access for the academic research community and strategic industrial partners to its ever-growing, CRAY Origin2000 installation. The Origin series, Silicon Graphics' industry-leading implementation of the CC-NUMA architecture, combines the programming ease of shared-memory with the scalability of massively parallel distributed memory in architecture called distributed shared-memory (DSM).
"Silicon Graphics is the only company in the world that can provide such a tightly integrated graphics and computational solution for customers," said Beau Vrolyk, senior vice president of the Server and Supercomputing Business Unit for Silicon Graphics, Inc. "Both the CRAY Origin2000 supercomputer and the Onyx2 visual supercomputer are the technology leaders in their class, and will give NCSA's users the latest in HPC technology."
NCSA will use the 64-processor Onyx2 Infinite Reality visual supercomputer with two graphics engines with this expanded Origin installation to allow users to simultaneously create high-resolution visualizations of their applications as they run them. The 20-processor Onyx2 Infinite Reality system with four graphics engines will provide a new level of capability for NCSA's Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) facility. CAVE, developed at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will help users analyze the massive scientific data sets generated by the Origin installation. It will also make teleimmersive collaborative sessions over the National Science Foundation's very high speed Backbone Network Service (vBNS) possible with other Alliance sites using similar visual supercomputers. These sites include EVL, Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Utah and the University of Minnesota.
A leader in the development and deployment of cutting-edge high-performance computing, networking, and information technologies, NCSA provides access to its high-performance computers to more than 1,500 researchers, including Alliance partners at more than 50 research institutions and industrial partners. Its users' primary scientific fields of research include chemical engineering, cosmology, scientific instrumentation, environmental hydrology, nanomaterials, and structural and molecular biology. The National Science Foundation, the state of Illinois, the University of Illinois, industrial partners, and other Federal agencies fund NCSA. The Alliance is a partnership to prototype an advanced computational infrastructure for the 21st century and receives core funding from the National Science Foundation and cost-sharing at partner institutions.