Energy lab acquires shared-memory supercomputer

A 256-pro-cessor SGI supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee will carry out scientific simulations that require huge data sets.

Computational biology and global climate change are two of the research areas, said Thomas Zacharia, associate director of the Energy Department lab.

Oak Ridge's Center for Computational Sciences works with vendors to evaluate new computer architectures for data-intensive applications, and the SGI acquisition is part of that effort, Zacharia said. The lab also has been working with supercomputers from IBM Corp. and Cray Inc. of Seattle.

The $3 million SGI Altix 3000's theoretical peak performance is 1.5 trillion operations per second. It has the most recent generation of 64-bit Intel Itanium 2 processors and 2T of global shared memory.

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