New Mexico Supercomputer Completes First Test Run

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As they say in parenting, baby steps. New Mexico’s large SGI Altix ICE supercomputer completed its first scientific application run by an outside user on Wednesday. “Encanto” completed a weather forecast run for Professor Joseph Galewsky’s weather forecasting project. Galewsky, a Professor at University of New Mexico’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, was tracking how a weather storm would affect much of the western hemisphere over a period of nearly three weeks. The forecast run required three hours, nine minutes of wallclock time to complete.

Encanto is off to an impressive start,” Secretary Roy Soto of the New Mexico Department of Information Technology said. “New Mexico’s supercomputer simulated a week of weather in roughly an hour. This project has delivered from the very beginning.”

This run, requiring only 4,050 of the 14,336 cores, is a small part of a large series of simulations dedicated to the acceptance testing of the new machine. The testing is scheduled to be complete by June of this year.

The sheer size of the record setting snowstorm of Dec. 29, 2006 that brought much of New Mexico to a standstill was not predicted far in advance by computer weather models,” said Galewsky. “Existing weather forecast models can only resolve weather features that are 20 to 30 kilometers in scale, but wintertime storms, such as the 2006 record, involve weather features as small as a few kilometers. These simulations on Encanto provide new insight into the processes that control New Mexico winter storms and will hopefully help to improve their forecast.”

The University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, New Mexico Tech, Sandia National Lab and Los Alamos National Lab have all signed on as partners of the New Mexico Computing Applications project.

Read the full article here.


  1. […] recall that early last year New Mexico’s big (like number 3 on the Nov 2007 list big) SGI started running jobs from outside users, and that NM’s plans for the machine were such that it would “pay for itself.” […]