NCSA and IBM to Study the "Gravity" of the Situation

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will install two IBM Linux clusters, creating the world's fastest Linux supercomputer in academia. NCSA's clusters will have two teraflops of computing power and will be used by researchers to study some of the most fundamental questions of science, such as the nature of gravitational waves first predicted by Albert Einstein in his Theory of Relativity.

The two NCSA Linux clusters will include more than 600 IBM eServer xSeries running Linux and Myricom's Myrinet cluster interconnect network. The first cluster, to be installed in February by IBM Global Services, will be based on IBM eServer x330 thin servers, each with two 1 GHz Intel Pentium III processors, running Red Hat Linux. The second cluster, to be installed this summer, will be one of the first to use Intel's next generation 64-bit ItaniumTM processor and will run TurboLinux.

"These IBM Linux clusters will enable scientists to focus more on the results of their research initiatives, freeing them from the additional burden of building their own clusters and writing code to support their heavy computational demands," notes Dave Turek, Vice-President of Deep Computing at IBM. "We are seeing an increase in demand for this type of empowering technology within the scientific community."

The National Computational Science Alliance is a partnership to prototype an advanced computational infrastructure for the 21st century and includes more than 50 academic, government and industry research partners from across the United States. The Alliance is one of two partnerships funded by the National Science Foundation's Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI) program, and receives cost sharing at partner institutions. NSF also supports the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI), led by the San Diego Supercomputer Center.

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