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New center promotes high-performance computing

Posted: 04 Jul 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:supercomputers? high-performance computing? scientific computing?

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has opened the High Performance Computing Innovation Center (HPCIC) as part of its expanding efforts to share with the industry and academia its capabilities in high-performance computing. The lab will make some of its computer systems available for work in areas such as product design and manufacturing, data management and complex energy and communication systems operations.

The center is a first step toward the goal of creating an open campus on the east side of the lab's complex. It aims to serve a broad range of industries that could use its big clusters including aerospace, automotive and transportation, energy, health care, finance, materials manufacturing, nanotechnology and even consumer electronics.

George Miller, director of the lab said the center "opens a new era in Lawrence Livermore's collaboration with universities and industry."

The lab hopes the new center creates a win-win situation, promoting technology innovation, especially in the energy industry, while broadening the lab's own base of expertise.

HPCIC is open for multipartner collaborations that could include other government agencies, research institutions and academia. It will supply expertise running the data center and providing data analysis and visualization support, which it has experience applying to fields ranging from materials science and nanotechnology to bioscience and nuclear fusion energy.

This venture is not new to the laboratory as it has engaged the industry in the past. The Hyperion project allows companies test out how their software scaled on the lab's giant clusters. The lab's expertise in fluid dynamics was also recently applied to aerodynamic drag on tractor trailers.

The Lawrence Livermore lab helped in the end testing of nuclear weapons in the U.S. by providing advanced supercomputer simulation capabilities of nuclear explosions and the effects of aging on existing nuclear weapons. The lab worked with IBM and other companies to design a series of supercomputers including BlueGene/L, which held the number one spot for four years on the Top 500 list of the world's most powerful computers.

HPCIC will provide access to the 229 TeraFlop IBM system, a 44 Teraflop Appro cluster and a 261 TeraFlop Dell system called Sierra. The center will also provide petabytes of storage and selected I/O systems.

Fred Streitz, a computational physicist at the lab, will serve as the HPCIC director. He is also the director of the lab's Institute for Scientific Computing Research.

- Rick Merritt
??EE Times

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