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Stampede at the Texas Advanced Computing Center

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During the XSEDE’12 conference in Chicago from the 16 to the 20 July, Catherine Gater, deputy director of EGI and project coordinator of e-Science Talk, reported for International Science Grid This Week, as we were a media partner for XSEDE this year, along with HPCwire.

Gater managed to get a glimpse of the new system at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC).

It wasn’t exactly a stampede to get to the ballroom for yesterday’s post lunch talk (more of a gentle coffee-fueled drift). James Gutowski of Dell was there to enthusiastically present the new system that the TACC will be deploying as part of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) ‘eXtreme Digital’ (XD) program.

Named ‘Stampede’ - you may have guessed - the new system will provide comprehensive computing and visualization capabilities for the open science community, helping scientists to address challenging scientific and engineering problems. NSF is providing $27.5 million (€22.65 million) upfront and Stampede is expected to be up and running in January 2013. The system will replace Ranger at the TACC and Kraken at the National Institute for Computational Sciences.

Dell and TACC have gone for Linux/x86 and Many Integrated Core (MIC) processors, and have also assessed Graphical Processing Units. But, the MIC processors represent easier porting and more flexible programming options.

Stampede is expected to have a peak performance of 10 petaflops with 14 petabyte disk space, 250 terabytes of RAM, and a 56 gigabit FDR Infiniband interconnect. The new system also has 200 racks of computer hardware, and a base cluster of more than 6,000 nodes and 100,000 cores, but with a total of 500,000 parallel cores.

Due to the massive power requirements of the new computing center, a very large storage tank will be built that will house cold water for cooling the high-performance computer.

January 2013 is racing around pretty fast, so the new data centre at TACC broke ground in February 2012 and the constructors are rolling in the racks as we speak. Find out more in HPCwire.

If you liked this spotlight, then you can read other stories written by Catherine Gater about XSEDE’12 on the Gridcast blog.

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