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December 17, 2009

The Week in Review

by HPCwire Staff

Here is a collection of highlights from this week’s news stream as reported by HPCwire.

Scientists Explore Energy Efficiency in Multi-Scale Computing Systems

Tata Sons’ CRL Partners with Force India

Knowledge Computing Offers New Perspectives in Scientific Computing

Acumem Launches ThreadSpotter 2010

UK Science Agency Announces £2.4 Billion Investment Strategy

EDGeS Connects More Than 100,000 Computers to EGEE

Unilever Joins Forces with STFC for Product R&D

Clemson University Leads $6M Technology Initiative

NVIDIA, National Taiwan University Aim to Unlock Secrets of Universe

Queensland University of Technology Selects Mitrion Platform

3D Microchips for More Powerful and Environmentally-Friendly Computers

NLR Helps Enable SC09 Bandwidth Challenge Winners

Wide Area InfiniBand Used in the Winning Bandwidth Challenge Entry at SC09

Platform Computing Solution Helps CERN Manage Data

CERN, the European nuclear physics laboratory that runs the Large Hadron Collider, has selected cloud computing solutions from Platform Computing to improve on its current grid infrastructure and to manage the world’s largest cloud environment for scientific collaboration. CERN researchers deal with massive amounts of data that must be accessible in near real-time. The infrastructure has to support the production and analysis of more than 15 petabytes of data per year, which is processed by more than 60,000 CPU cores. With a cloud system, scientists can manage workloads themselves as opposed to having to operate out of a centralized IT management department at CERN’s laboratory near Geneva.

CERN was already using Platform’s LSF grid and workload management solution, so it made sense to see what Platform could offer in the way of a virtualized cloud environment. To that end, CERN selected both private cloud management and HPC cloud-enabling software solutions, called Platform ISF and Platform ISF Adaptive Cluster.

According to Tony Cass, group leader of fabric infrastructure and operations at CERN:

“Platform’s ISF and ISF Adaptive Cluster, combined with the Platform LSF grid workload management solution already in place, will provide our users the scalability and flexibility they need to manage their clusters and share datacenter resources while adhering to our requirements for open standards.”

CERN believes the improved infrastructure will offer increased computing performance and services to its 10,000 researchers from 85 countries.

NCAR Picks Builder for Supercomputing Center

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has selected a constructure firm for the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) project. And the winner is Denver-based Saunders Construction, Inc., which is set to provide pre-construction and possibly construction services for the 150,000-square-foot building in Cheyenne, Wyo. Once completed, the $66 million center will be home to one of the world’s most powerful systems dedicated to improving climate predictions, including severe weather events, air quality and related topics.

From the press release:

“NCAR is very excited to be taking the next important step in this process,” said Krista Laursen, NWSC project director at NCAR. “We are pleased to be on track to deliver a world-class facility for the atmospheric science and geoscience communities.”

Onera Selects SGI Supercomputers

Onera, the French aerospace research center, has selected SGI Altix for its new supercomputer, which will be used to enhance the precision of simulations and modeling, acccelerate digital simulation, and to prepare its resources for massively parallel processing. The new solution will have 3,000 processing nodes, a sizable increase over the previous system’s 512 nodes, with each offering twice the power, boosting speed significantly.

From the announcement:

The Altix cluster enables Onera’s computation codes — such as Elsa for aerodynamic simulation, or Cedre for the simulation of propulsion and the thermal budget for aerospace vehicles — to simulate computation configurations involving more than one billion degrees of freedom.

Onera also selected a second system, SGI Altix ICE (ICE stands for Integrated Compute Environment), to power its new system, “Stelvio,” which was named after the highest mountain pass in Italy. One of the top ten systems in France and one of the top 100 worldwide, Stelvio incorporates 384 SGI Altix ICE nodes, delivers 34 teraflops of processing power, has a total of 3,072 cores and 14 terabytes of memory.

The Altix ICE cluster will provide a large share of the computing power needed by all scientists at Onera, enhancing the agency’s research capabilities across scientific branches and departments.

SGI won the contract after an intense year-long process. Stelvio replaces the previous system from Bull.