U Kentucky Supercomputer Leveraging IBM, Voltaire Technology

The University of Kentucky's Center for Computational Sciences has employed a Grid Backbone from Billerica, MA-based Voltaire to accelerate a new IBM supercomputer that will be used for scientific research in the areas of physics, chemistry, engineering, and computational pharmacy.

The supercomputing system, which was unveiled this week, is part of the Center’s ongoing research projects ranging from determining the structure of atomic particles to aerodynamic design and drug discovery.

The 16 teraflop IBM System Cluster 1350 will be built using IBM HS21 blade servers with dual core Intel Xeon processors running on a 10 Gbps InfiniBand fabric from Voltaire. The InfiniBand fabric consists of Voltaire InfiniBand Pass Through Modules and host channel adapters (HCAs) for IBM BladeCenter within the blade server platform and Voltaire Grid Director ISR 9288 multi-service switches for external connectivity.

The result? The new supercomputer will process 16.3 trillion calculations per second, which qualifies it to rank among the top echelon of the world’s most powerful supercomputers.

The new supercomputer will also be a resource for the National Science Foundation's GridChem, a national grid for computational chemistry. GridChem is a consortium to advance research and discovery in the field of chemistry that includes the University of Kentucky, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Louisiana State University, the University of Texas, and Ohio State University.

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About the Author

David Kopf is a freelance technology writer and marketing consultant, and can be reached at david@dkcopy.com.

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