High Performance Computing | News

University Advances Astronomy Research with 2,300-Core HPC System

A Brazilian university is accelerating astronomy research with the help of a 2,304-core system built around AMD Opteron 6172 processors and with 4.6 TB of main memory. The SGI Altix ICE 8400 is a high performance computing (HPC) being used by the Astronomy Department at the University of Sao Paulo as part of the institution's work to create physical models to study the universe.

Astronomical theoreticians at the university use parallel computer clusters to create those models. As they become increasingly complex, the researchers need faster, more powerful computers. The Altix ICE 8400 HPC system will enable them to solve problems that were previously not possible to solve owing to technological restraints, according to the university.

"Much of the research done in our department critically depends on the computer resources available," said Alex C. Carciofi, professor in the Astronomy Department of the University of Sao Paulo. "The computing power of our new SGI Altix ICE 8400 system will allow us to dramatically increase the scale and scope of the problems we are studying, helping us to understand more about this vast universe in which we all live."

The Astronomy Department at the University of Sao Paulo is the largest astronomical research center in Brazil. It has 38 professors, about 30 post-doctoral research associates, and almost 100 graduate students. The department conducts research in most areas of modern theoretical and observational astronomy, including the study of stars, the cosmos, galaxies, intergalactic medium, the Solar System, and exoplanet research.

The Altix ICE 8400 can deliver up to 1,536 processor cores, 14.13 teraflops of compute capability, and 8,192 TB of memory per rack and is scalable from 32 to 65,536 compute nodes.

Further information about SRI's scale-out server platforms supporting AMD Opteron 6100 Series processors is available here.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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