TeraGrid supercomputer goes live

The National Science Foundation has launched the first phase of its TeraGrid project, making 4.5 teraflops of distributed computing power available to scientists across the country.

The TeraGrid project is part of a long-term effort to build and deploy a supercomputing grid infrastructure that will be used for open research.

The systems in production are the first of two deployments. Under the current plan, the completed TeraGrid will provide more than 20 teraflops of computing power.

Phase two hardware was installed in December and is scheduled to go live this spring.

"We are pleased to see scientific research being conducted on the initial production TeraGrid system," said Peter Freeman, head of NSF's Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering directorate. "Leading-edge supercomputing capabilities are essential to the emerging cyberinfrastructure."

The grid infrastructure that went live in phase one comprises more than 800 Itanium-family IBM processors running the Linux operating system. Hardware at multiple sites across the country is networked through a 40-gigabit per second backplane.

Scientists are using the TeraGrid to study the evolution of the universe and the cleanup of contaminated groundwater, simulate seismic events and analyze biomolecular dynamics.

"The launch of the National Science Foundation's TeraGrid project provides scientists and researchers across the nation with access to unprecedented computational power," said David Turek, vice president of Deep Computing at Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM Corp. "IBM is committed to the continued development of ? grid technologies that benefit our scientific, technical and commercial customers."

TeraGrid sites include: Argonne National Laboratory; the Center for Advanced Computing Research at the California Institute of Technology; Indiana University; the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center; Purdue University; the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego; and the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

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