NASA reports that it’s newly upgraded Pleiades supercomputer ranks number 11 on the July 2015 TOP500 list of the most powerful supercomputers. And while the LINPACK computing power of Pleiades jumped nearly 21 percent, its ranking at number 5 on the new HPCG benchmark list reflects its ability to tackle real world applications.
Astronomers Erika Nesvold (UMBC) and Marc Kuchner (NASA Goddard) essentially created a virtual Beta Pictoris in the computer and watched it evolve over millions of years. It is the first full 3-D model of a debris disk where scientists can watch the development of asymmetric features formed by planets, like warps and eccentric rings, and also track collisions among the particles at the same time.
“Pleiades, one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, represents NASA’s state-of-the-art technology for meeting the agency’s supercomputing requirements, enabling NASA scientists and engineers to conduct modeling and simulation for NASA missions. Powered by Lustre, this distributed-memory SGI ICE cluster is connected with InfiniBand in a dual-plane hypercube technology.”