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Texas Advanced Computing Center to Deploy One of the World’s Most Powerful Supercomputers

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) has announced plans to build and deploy a high performance computing (HPC) system, called Stampede, which will have a peak performance of 10 petaflops, 272 terabytes of memory, and 14 petabytes of disk storage.

TACC is building Stampede in partnership with Dell and Intel to provide comprehensive computing and visualization capabilities for the open science community, and expects to deploy it in 2013. It will be part of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) eXtreme Digital (XD) program, which is providing $27.5 million in initial funding. Investment in the project will total more than $50 million dollars over four years. The Stampede project may be renewed in 2017 for four additional years on a successor system.

Components of the Stampede system include:

  • A production system with several thousand Dell Zeus servers, each of which will have dual 8-core processors from the Intel Xeon Processor E5 Family and 32 gigabytes of memory, providing almost two petaflops of peak performance;
  • A cluster with Intel Many Integrated Core (MIC) co-processors, providing an additional eight petaflops of performance;
  • 128 next-generation NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs) for remote visualization;
  • 16 Dell servers with one terabyte of shared memory and two GPUs each for large data analysis; and
  • A high-performance Lustre file system for data-intensive computing.

All of these components will be integrated with an InfiniBand FDR 56 Gb/s network for extreme scalability.

In the future, the Stampede project will add later generations of Intel MIC processors as they become available, which will increase Stampede's total peak performance to at least 15 petaflops.

"Stampede will be one of the most powerful systems in the world and will be uniquely comprehensive in its technological capabilities," said TACC Director Jay Boisseau. "Many researchers will leverage Stampede not only for massive computational calculations, but for all of their scientific computing, including visualization, data analysis, and data-intensive computing. We expect the Stampede system to be a model for supporting petascale simulation-based science and data-driven science."

Researchers from any open science institution in the United States can apply to use Stampede for scientific and educational activities through the NSF's Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project.

Stampede will be operated and supported for four years by TACC, Dell, and a team of cyberinfrastructure experts at The University of Texas at Austin, Clemson University, University of Colorado at Boulder, Cornell University, Indiana University, Ohio State University, and The University of Texas at El Paso.

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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