NCSA purchases supercomputer

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications has purchased a 1,024-processor Altix supercomputer from SGI of Mountain View, Calif.

SGI disclosed the deal in an announcement of two supercomputer sales totaling $55 million to U.S. government agencies. SGI could not disclose details of the other government supercomputer purchase.

NCSA will use the supercomputer for a wide variety of tasks including large-scale weather analysis and simulating how the universe developed. The center will also make the computer available through the NSF TeraGrid high-speed network.

The NCSA system, dubbed Cobalt, is expected to provide computational power of up to 6 TFLOPS, or 6 trillion floating-point operations per second. The symmetric multi-processor share-memory system will run 1,024 64-bit processors under the Linux operating system. It will feature 3T of machine-wide accessible random access memory. The system's files will be housed on a 370T InfiniteStorage TP9500 disk array. This data will be accessible to other NCSA supercomputers through an SGI shared file system application called CXFS.

Located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the National Science Foundation-funded NCSA operates high performance computers and associated networks for scientific research.

The system will be installed by the end of 2004 and will be operational by March 2005, according to SGI.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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