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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

September 28, 2007 at 9:22 AM

Richland lab on supercomputer buying spree

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory today announced the purchase of a $24 million Hewlett-Packard supercomputer for its Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, just a week after buying a Cray XMT system.

While most people are still in the process of moving to dual-core computers or waiting for quad-core prices to drop, the the lab took the plunge on an HP system with 18,480 cores.

After it’s installed next year, the system will be used for research in areas such as “aerosol formation, bioremediation, catalysis, climate change, hydrogen storage and subsurface science” to support the U.S. Department of Energy.

The HP system, which is replacing a 2003 system from HP, will be the lab’s biggest and fastest computer. It will also be available as a resource for outside scientists.

Specs from the release:

The supercomputer architecture runs on HP ProLiant servers and includes an InfiniBand 4x DDR interconnect, 4,620 AMD Opteron processors, 37 terabytes of memory and aggregate disk bandwidth of about 950 gigabytes per second enabled by nearly 21,000 disk drives in HP enterprise virtual arrays. Consisting of 18,480 2.2 gigahertz AMD Opteron processor cores, the new HP supercomputer will have an expected total peak performance of about 163 teraflops.

It’s due to arrive in January and be ready to roll in September. Scientists wanting to tap its power will need to submit proposals and go through a competitive peer-review process.

Comments | More in | Topics: Energy, Enterprise, Public policy

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