Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

New Supercomputer Project Gets Fed Grant

The U.S. Department of Energy is granting $25 million to a partnership of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Cray, IBM and Silicon Graphics to begin to build a 50 teraflop science research supercomputer.

The department selected ORNL from four proposals received from its non-weapon national labs. The facility will be used by DOE for mission-related research, and it also will be open to researchers from around the world for competitive, peer-reviewed research.

As part of the project, the capacity of the current ORNL Cray X1 computer will be increased to 20 teraflops in 2004 with a 20-teraflop Red Storm-based system from Cray added in 2005. Argonne National Laboratory expects to install a 5-teraflop IBM Blue Gene computer as part of this project. A 100-teraflop Cray system at Oak Ridge is planned for 2006, with the potential to increase to 250 teraflops in 2007.

The supercomputer at ORNL will be housed in a new 170,000 square foot facility, which includes 400 staff and 40,000 square feet of space for computer systems and data storage.

The machines will be used for scientific simulation that will let scientists obtain results and achieve discovery in the same way that experiment and theory have traditionally been used. However, according to the Science-based Case for Large-scale Simulation (SCaLeS) Report, "the availability of computers 100 to 1,000 times more powerful than those currently available will have a profound impact on computational scientists' ability to simulate the fundamental physical, chemical, and biological processes that underlie the behavior of natural and engineered systems."