Tech to Tap Into World's Largest Supercomputer

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Georgia Tech may soon have access to the world's fastest computer. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Oak Ridge, Tenn., will receive $25 million in funding to begin building a supercomputer to surpass the world's most powerful computer, the Earth Simulator in Japan. When completed, the supercomputer will have the processing power of 50,000 to 100,000 desktop computers. Georgia Tech is connected to Oak Ridge's computers, currently with 10 teraflops (10 trillion calculations per second) of total computing capability, through the Atlanta GigaPOP or Southern Crossroads (SoX). The high-speed connection links 22 Southern universities to each other and Oak Ridge. Georgia Tech, a partner in the management of the Oak Ridge Lab, will have direct access to the new supercomputer. And with all that power, researchers at Georgia Tech can supercharge their computing efforts. High-speed computing has become an increasingly integral part of scientific research in everything from climate analysis to mapping cellular structures to calculating the variables of space travel. This supercomputing prowess allows scientists to crunch gargantuan sets of data to carry out many of the sophisticated simulations that are key to their research. "The supercomputer will have great value to our major researchers in areas like nanoscience, atmospheric science and bioinformatics. It will be a huge benefit to the Southeast," said Ron Hutchins, associate vice provost for research and technology and chief technology officer at Georgia Tech. The planned 50 teraflop (50 trillion calculations per second) supercomputer will be used for science research and available to the scientific community. It will eventually peak at more than 250 teraflops after about five years and have a total cost that is expected to reach between $150 million and $200 million. Oak Ridge's development partners on the project include Cray Inc., IBM Corp. and Silicone Graphics Inc. Oak Ridge will also work closely with Argonne National Laboratory and other DOE national laboratories and universities. The project is part of the DOE's push to increase U.S. competitiveness in computing and science. "Our priority at Oak Ridge is not just to build the world's fastest computer, but to make the machine available to universities and laboratories across the country," said Thomas Zacharia, Oak Ridge National Laboratory's associate lab director for computing and computational sciences. "Georgia Tech is a perfect example of a great university that we anticipate will be a close partner in the years ahead."



  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Matthew Nagel
  • Created: 05/13/2004
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 05/26/2022


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