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NATIONAL CENTER FOR SUPERCOMPUTING APPLICATIONS (NCSA) ORDERS A CONVEX C3880 SUPERCOMPUTER

 NATIONAL CENTER FOR SUPERCOMPUTING APPLICATIONS (NCSA)
 ORDERS A CONVEX C3880 SUPERCOMPUTER
 RICHARDSON, Texas, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The arrival of a large-memory Convex C3880 supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), Champaign, Ill., will allow the solution of larger problems than was possible on other systems.
 The Convex C3880's two billion bytes of physical memory make it the largest memory system in the National Science Foundation (NSF) supercomputer center's program. To be installed April 15, the $10 million computer is being acquired through an agreement with the NSF and Convex Computer Corp. It will replace a Convex C240 currently installed at the University of Illinois center.
 "Our biggest users will now have access to dedicated time to explore parallel processing on applications of great complexity," said Larry L. Smarr, NCSA director. "The C3880 thus provides an opportunity not readily available on our production supercomputers, which are overwhelmingly used in single processor mode."
 The Convex C3880 will also be the new heart of NCSA's Numerical Laboratory, which explores interactive visualization, multimedia desktop video and virtual reality. In addition, high definition technologies will be researched with the U. of I. Beckman Institute's new Image Formation and Processing Group, which recently received a major NSF grant.
 "The addition of this system will enable academic scientists and engineers across the country to have a broader range of platforms on which to perform their research," said Richard Hirsh, program director for the supercomputer centers in NSF's Division of Advanced Scientific Computing. "It complements the other systems already in place at NCSA."
 According to Steven J. Wallach, Convex's senior vice president of technology, this marks the first installation of a gallium arsenide (GaAs) supercomputer at an NSF center. "With its IEEE format, the C3880 is an ideal compute server for NCSA's metacomputer development effort and is binary compatible with the C240 it replaces. NCSA is an important site for advanced research, and we are excited to be an integral part of this effort."
 "We have cultivated a user base for very-large memory applications on our CRAY-2 supercomputer," said Michael Norman, NCSA research scientist in astronomy and astrophysics. "With nearly 1,000 users, however, it is very difficult to use more than one processor at a time, leaving most of its parallelization abilities untapped."
 Smarr explained that over the next year, CRAY-2 codes suited to particularly large memory and parallelization will be moved to the eight-processor Convex C3880 with assistance from NCSA. "As the C3880 will have a smaller number of users, scientists will have its full resources at their disposal," he noted. "About 100 projects are expected to eventually be allocated time through peer review on a quarterly basis."
 According to Norman, significant advancements have already been made in using the Convex C240 in 1991. "Academic projects in numerical cosmology, fluid dynamics, atmospheric sciences, biomedical imaging and radio astronomical imaging have been very successful on that system," he noted. "The C3880 can compute more complex problems in these fields and is also appropriate for industrial applications such as drug design, engineering fluid dynamics and finite element analysis and oil reservoir simulation."
 Four of the Convex C3880's eight total processors will arrive at NCSA in April, with the remaining processors expected in the second quarter of 1992. A memory upgrade to four billion bytes is scheduled for 1993.
 NCSA, a unit of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is dedicated to advancing high-performance computing and communications for computational science and engineering in academia and industry. The center is funded by the National Science Foundation, corporate partners and the state and University of Illinois.
 Convex Computer Corporation, a leading supplier of air-cooled supercomputers worldwide, markets its products primarily to scientific, engineering and technical users for a wide variety of applications in areas such as seismic processing, reservoir simulation, computational chemistry, computer-aided engineering, image processing, aerospace simulation and molecular biology. Convex, which is listed on the NYSE with the symbol CNX, has sold nearly 1,000 systems to more than 530 customers in 40 countries. The systems are sold and serviced through direct sales and an extensive distribution network.
 -0- 2/4/92
 /CONTACT: Donna Burke of Convex Computer Corp., 214-497-4230, or Jarrett S. Cohen of NCSA, 217-244-3049/
 (CNX) CO: Convex Computer Corp. ST: Texas IN: CPR SU: CON


MA -- NY023 -- 6607 02/04/92 10:44 EST
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Date:Feb 4, 1992
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