Electronic Design

ORNL Tabbed For Fastest Supercomputer Project

The Department of Energy granted $25 million to Oak Ridge National Laboratory to spearhead a partnership that will build the world's most powerful supercomputer. The plan will pool the partnership's resources for a sustained capacity of 50 teraFLOPS and a peak capacity of more than 250 teraFLOPS. This would surpass Japan's 40-teraFLOPS Earth Simulator, which currently holds the title of world's fastest supercomputer.

ORNL will expand its current Cray X1 supercomputer to 20 teraFLOPS this year. In 2005, it will add a 20-teraFLOPS Cray Red Storm-based machine. Argonne National Laboratory will install a 5-teraFLOPS IBM Blue Gene computer. ORNL then will add a 100-teraFLOPS Cray system in 2006 and eventually boost that number to 250 teraFLOPS in 2007. This supercomputer will run off of 12 MW of power supplied by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

"The new machine will enable breakthrough discoveries in biology, fusion energy, climate prediction, nanoscience, and many other fields that will fundamentally change both science and its impact across society," says Jeff Wadsworth, ORNL director. The National Leadership Computing Facility will provide the computational modeling software that will be necessary to take full advantage of the supercomputer's abilities to achieve these breakthroughs.

For details, go to www.ornl.gov.

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