NVIDIA And Cray Link Up To Power Blue Waters Supercomputer

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News Posted: Mon, Nov 14 2011 11:52 PM
SC11 is going on this week in Seattle, and supercomputers are the main topic of conversation. NVIDIA just announced that the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is deploying a Cray supercomputer accelerated by NVIDIA Tesla GPUs, as part of the Blue Waters project to build one of the world's most powerful computer systems. Tesla GPUs will help enable NCSA to meet the mission of the Blue Waters project, which is to deploy a supercomputer capable of sustained performance of one petaflop on a diverse range of real-world science and engineering applications. Supported by the National Science Foundation and the University of Illinois, Blue Waters will enable scientists and engineers across the United States to perform breakthrough scientific research.

"NCSA is excited about the inclusion of NVIDIA's Tesla GPUs in Blue Waters," said Thom Dunning, director of the Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technologies and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "GPUs provide extraordinary capabilities for numerically-intensive computations and a cost-effective, energy-efficient way to build tomorrow's petascale supercomputers."

"NCSA has seized this opportunity to make Blue Waters into an even more amazing scientific computing instrument than originally planned," said Steve Scott, chief technology officer of Tesla at NVIDIA. "The performance and wide access of Blue Waters will enable the scientific community to accelerate the race for better science."

Extreme-scale supercomputers, such as Blue Waters, enable computer simulations to more closely mimic nature. More than 25 science teams have already been selected to run research on Blue Waters, in fields ranging from molecular dynamics and astrophysics, to earthquake engineering and materials science. NVIDIA's Tesla GPUs will accelerate some of those compute-intensive applications in conjunction with the large number of Cray system's general purpose CPUs. The Blue Waters system will be a powerful hybrid supercomputer with more than 235 Cray XE6 cabinets, and more than 30 cabinets of a future version of the recently announced Cray XK6 supercomputer, which includes next-generation NVIDIA Tesla GPUs based on the "Kepler" architecture.

Loving the high-powered computing news, NVIDIA, but how's about a Tegra 3 tablet in our sweaty palms?
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Imagine folding proteins for Stanford University on that bad boy... Super computers are amazing beasts and I am sure this system will take some special software to be able to optimally use all this power. Somehow you need to be able to tell the machine what to calculate where.

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Manduh replied on Tue, Nov 15 2011 2:11 PM

What exactly are these supercomputers used for anyway??? Just plain 'scientific research' isn't enough information for me. I guess I'll just google it lol

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MCook replied on Wed, Nov 16 2011 8:43 AM

They help us maintain the reliability of our Nuclear Arsenal for one.

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