SDSC gets $20M from NSF for new flash-based super

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SDSC is following up on its DASH experiment with a full-fledged system for data-intensive computing supported by flash drives

Gordon logoThe San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego has been awarded a five-year, $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build and operate a powerful supercomputer dedicated to solving critical science and societal problems now overwhelmed by the avalanche of data generated by the digital devices of our era.

The new system, named “Gordon” (get it?), will use flash memory for high data throughput and virtualization software from ScaleMP to create large shared-memory “supernodes.” The system is being built by Appro and will be installed in the mid-2011 timeframe. The completed system will have 245 peak TFLOPS, 64 TB of RAM, and 256 TB of flash memory.

“We are clearly excited about the potential for Gordon,” said SDSC Interim Director Michael Norman, who is also the project’s principal investigator. “This HPC system will allow researchers to tackle a growing list of critical ‘data-intensive’ problems. These include the analysis of individual genomes to tailor drugs to specific patients, the development of more accurate models to predict the impact of earthquakes on buildings and other structures, and simulations that offer greater insights into what’s happening to the planet’s climate.”

There is much more in the release, which is quite detailed.


  1. Don’t forget the 4PetaBytes of spinning disks…

  2. Bah…spinning disks.