NICS To Add 300 Teraflops

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The National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS) managed by the University of Tennessee has announced that it will add an additional 300 teraflops of computing capability to the NSF’s Teragrid.  With twin awards totaling $3.4 million, NICS will add 200 million additional service units per year to the allocations pool, bringing their total to over 800 million.

We are extremely pleased to be able to put more continually available resources at the disposal of researchers with smaller codes, while still supporting the very largest applications,” said NICS Director Phil Andrews. “The importance of a research activity cannot be defined by the size of the code involved, and we want to give all NICS users the best possible service.”

The first part of the award will increase the size of Kraken, the first academic petaflop computer and currently the world’s fourth fastest machine, by 12 cabinets, adding 144 teraflops of computing power.  Can we go so far as to say that Kraken will get some additional tentacles?  The new gear pushes Kraken to 100 cabinets and 1.17 petaflops of HPC goodness.

The second part of the award will fund operation of Athena, a 166 teraflop Cray XT4.  Athena features 18,048 cores and 18 terabytes of memory.  Not bad as a secondary computing resource.

The availability of large-scale computing resources has quickly evolved our field of biomolecular simulation and computational chemistry and has enabled a move from validation and assessment of the methods into the realm of prediction and production in applications ranging from the design of new biomaterials to computer-aided drug design,” said NICS user Tom Cheatham of the University of Utah. “The addition of time comes at a critical juncture as the TeraGrid and other machines available in the US for research are over-subscribed, inhibiting science across a wide range of disciplines.

For more info on the new computing digs at NICS, read their full release here.