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NERSC’s “Edison” Unleashed


Now that our new flagship supercomputer Edison, a 2.5-petaflop Cray® XC30™, has been in full production mode for a couple of months, it seems like a good time to check in and see how scientists are using it. At the top of the list of hours used are teams of scientists studying the fundamentals of the standard model of particle physics, the structure of the Earth's subsurface, clustering of matter in the early universe, fusion energy, clean combustion, how salts bind to water, nano-characteristics of catalysts, table-top accelerators, carbon sequestration, and extreme climate events. If that seems like a diverse and intriguing array of topics, that's because it is.  NERSC, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, … [Read more...]

MSU Turns to Liquid-Cooled Cluster Supercomputer


Mississippi State University had a need for a powerful and efficient new primary supercomputing system for their High Performance Computing Collaboratory (HPC2) –  a coalition focused on advancing the state of the art in computational science and engineering using high performance computing. They chose the Cray® CS300™ liquid-cooled cluster supercomputer. Nicknamed "Shadow," MSU's new Cray CS300-LC cluster generates 316.1 teraflops of peak performance while using minimal energy. This efficiency is accomplished in part through a hybrid architecture featuring Intel® Xeon® processors and Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessors, and because the system uses warm water for cooling. Almost four years ago, the University installed its first … [Read more...]

HPC Centers Role in Driving CAE Simulation


My recent blog posts have focused on performance enhancements to CAE applications and especially the scalability of ISV applications. A key point of this discussion is that it takes team effort to achieve these results. You need production models from the user community, the cooperation of application developers and computational scientists, access to large compute resources, and HPC system expertise. In this blog, I want to highlight the critical role HPC centers play in providing resources and expertise to improve the performance and effectiveness of CAE simulation for manufacturing companies. Leading HPC Centers Several of the largest HPC systems in the world are located at national HPC research centers. These centers are often … [Read more...]

University of Chicago Researchers Make Strides in Genome Sequencing


When Charles Darwin explored the Galapagos Islands and developed his theory of natural selection, he did so with the help of the H.M.S. Beagle.  The University of Chicago is building on his pioneering work using a supercomputer and storage provided by Cray, also called the Beagle. Darwin's ship gained historic status not because it was particularly unique or special, but because it was the vehicle that carried him to the locations where he completed research that redefined the way we look at evolutionary theory. The Beagle became famous because it was a tool that enabled Darwin to do his work. Theories are essential, but tools are the means by which researchers test their hypotheses and make new discoveries. Today, high performance … [Read more...]

What’s in a (Supercomputer) Name?


Think “discovery” and you can see why NERSC, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, names their supercomputers after famous scientists and inventors. Operated by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and serving the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, NERSC has a long history with high-end Cray supercomputers and using them to drive scientific discovery. Their latest Cray machine “Edison”, a Cray® XC30™ supercomputer named after Thomas Edison, has been up and running for much of 2013 with a formal dedication ceremony held last week at Berkeley Lab in California. Supercomputer predecessors at NERSC include “Hopper”, a Cray® XE6™ named after innovating computer scientist Grace Hopper, and … [Read more...]