Argonne Lab gets supercomputer

The Energy Department's Argonne National Laboratory will get a supercomputer from IBM that will be capable of executing 445 trillion floating-point operations per second (TFLOPs), the laboratory announced.

The supercomputer will be built using its Blue Gene/P architecture, a design that emphasizes peta-FLOP-capable capability and power-efficiency.

'By the time this project is complete, Argonne will be home to one of our country's pre-eminent computing facilities,' Rick Stevens, associate laboratory director of Computing and Life Sciences at Argonne, said in a statement.

The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, which helped develop the system, will operate the machine on behalf of Energy's Office of Science. The system will devote most of its computing time to the department's Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment program (INCITE). This program grants supercomputer time to computationally intensive research projects that can't be carried out on smaller machines, on behalf of industry and academia.

'The Blue Gene architecture is especially well-suited for materials research and other simulations that require molecular dynamics,' said Michael Strayer, associate director for Advanced Scientific Computing Research in the Office of Science, in a statement.

Terms of the procurement were not disclosed, though it was part of a five-year umbrella contract, awarded in 2006 and valued at $2.5 billion, the Energy Department awarded to UChicago Argonne LLC (owned by the University of Chicago) to run Argonne.

Myricom will provide the interconnects and DataDirect Networks will provide the storage system.

About the Author

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

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