Purdue and Notre Dame to Link Supercomputers

By Nicole Hemsoth

March 2, 2007

The new year will usher in a new era for supercomputing at Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame. The institutions are partnering to create a sophisticated, high-performance computer grid – to be operational in January – that is expected to put northwest Indiana on the supercomputing map.

Congress has appropriated $6.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for the project in the past two years, including $5 million approved in late November. The effort was led by Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., who represents the 1st Congressional District in northwest Indiana.

“These funds will bring a supercomputer network to Indiana on par with very few others in the country due to the high speed at which it operates,” Lugar said. “This investment in technology is important for many reasons, including the innovative research it will foster in enhancing the national security of the United States.”

Visclosky, who is the ranking member on the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, said the funding for the Northwest Indiana Computational Grid is a key investment in the state’s high-tech economy.

“In order to build a new economy, we must have the high-technology infrastructure in place to attract the jobs of the future,” Visclosky said.

The grid, a network of fiber optics, will connect Purdue’s West Lafayette campus, Purdue Calumet in Hammond and Notre Dame in South Bend. The grid also will connect to U.S. government research facilities, including Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago. It eventually will be a gateway to other high-performance supercomputer grids throughout the country.

The collaboration is led by a steering committee of academic, technical and administrative experts from each of the three campuses.

James Bottum, vice president for information technology at Purdue West Lafayette, chairs the steering committee and said he is enthusiastic about the future of cyberinfrastructure in northwest Indiana.

“This partnership brings together two major research universities and a premier DOE laboratory in a regional collaboration that will generate new research opportunities and collaborations among students and faculty in the advancement of energy-related science,” he said.

Gordon Wishon, associate vice president/associate provost and chief information officer at Notre Dame, said the possibilities of the grid are immense.

“This collaboration will bring great capabilities to this part of the state of Indiana, which will certainly benefit our institutions, and we expect to benefit the entire state and nation as well,” he said.

Among the partnering institutions, the grid project exists within larger initiatives to boost high-performance computer capabilities. Notre Dame is developing a center for research computing support campuswide. At Purdue West Lafayette, the new Cyber Center has just been announced as part of the institution’s Discovery Park multidisciplinary research effort.

The Northwest Indiana Computational Grid will provide advanced computational resources to faculty, as well as high-performance computing capabilities to corporate and governmental users throughout the northwest Indiana region, said Doug Sharp, assistant vice chancellor for information and instructional technologies at Purdue Calumet. The grid will offer high-speed networking, high-performance computer clusters, simulation-based research capabilities, enhanced visualization and enormous data-storage resources.

Each campus will take the lead on a particular piece of the grid’s overall functionality. For example, Purdue West Lafayette will focus on high-speed processing, Notre Dame will focus on data-storage needs and Purdue Calumet will attend to the visualization needs for grid users.

“We’ll be able to be connected in a way that we haven’t been before,” Sharp said. “With the processing at West Lafayette, the storage at Notre Dame and the visualization at Calumet, the grid will work as one piece of technology by interconnecting these individual high-speed networks. And the relationship with Argonne is really like having a fourth partner. Therein lies the economy of this project – that we can all share our combined resources.”

The grid will be connected to Argonne and other grid-computing resources through StarLight, a fiber-optic cable network made possible through the National Science Foundation.

The collective power of the grid means that researchers at these northwest Indiana universities will have the tools to explore and address some of society’s most complex problems, Sharp said. For example, the grid will have the capacity to perform sophisticated computer modeling and simulation for chemical, biological and radiological dispersion during a terrorist attack. It will help authorities predict the spread of a toxic substance, determine the threat to the public and develop life-saving next steps. Another example involves the study and visualization of the inside of a blast furnace at a steel plant, examining heat prediction modeling to project – and hopefully prevent – dangerous and costly failures that can occur inside the furnace.

Jeff Kantor, vice president for research and graduate studies at Notre Dame, said the grid will boost research. The South Bend region is home to several leading orthopedic companies that have existing partnerships with both Purdue and Notre Dame.

“Having this kind of resource available to our region dramatically advances the research infrastructure,” Kantor said. “The design of orthopedic devices, from an engineering perspective, is an example of where we can lead with simulation studies and computations work that will be supported through the collaboration of the grid.”

Other applications include transportation and environmental studies for use in city planning, health-care management, biocomputing and the study of protein structures for synthesis of pharmaceuticals, and research in advanced carbon materials.

Chris Hoffmann, a computer science professor at Purdue West Lafayette with expertise in geometric computing and modeling, has done simulations of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Pentagon. He previously used computational resources of another grid to complete these models, which took up to 68 hours to simulate one-fourth of a second of the actual events that day. He said the Northwest Indiana Computational Grid will bring exciting new prospects to his colleagues across the three campuses and will raise the bar of computational capability in Indiana.

“We want to be known as the place that has this expertise,” he said. “Simulation is the third paradigm of science, along with the theoretical and the experimental. Instead of running an experiment, we run a simulation by computations to see what will happen.”

The grid will be a tool for economic development with goals that support the state’s plans to focus on creating high-tech, high-wage and high-skills jobs. Some examples include aiding business incubators, such as the Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana in Merrillville, to stimulate new high-tech companies and partnerships and supporting and improving the telecommunication sector, such as the St. Joe Valley MetroNet in the South Bend region. It also is likely to eventually benefit other campuses in the area, such as Purdue North Central.

“The infrastructure we put in place and the technology we apply will stimulate relationships that might not have occurred otherwise,” said Wishon, who also serves as chairman of the MetroNet board of directors.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Supercomputer Research Reveals Star Cluster Born Outside Our Galaxy

July 11, 2020

The Milky Way is our galactic home, containing our solar system and continuing into a giant band of densely packed stars that stretches across clear night skies around the world – but, it turns out, not all of those st Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Max Planck Society Begins Installation of Liquid-Cooled Supercomputer from Lenovo

July 9, 2020

Lenovo announced today that it is supplying a new high performance computer to the Max Planck Society, one of Germany's premier research organizations. Comprised of Intel Xeon processors and Nvidia A100 GPUs, and featuri Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Xilinx Announces First Adaptive Computing Challenge

July 9, 2020

A new contest is challenging the computing world. Xilinx has announced the first Xilinx Adaptive Computing Challenge, a competition that will task developers and startups with finding creative workload acceleration solutions. Xilinx is running the Adaptive Computing Challenge in partnership with Hackster.io, a developing community... Read more…

By Staff report

Reviving Moore’s Law? LBNL Researchers See Promise in Heterostructure Oxides

July 9, 2020

The reality of Moore’s law’s decline is no longer doubted for good empirical reasons. That said, never say never. Recent work by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers suggests heterostructure oxides may b Read more…

By John Russell

President’s Council Targets AI, Quantum, STEM; Recommends Spending Growth

July 9, 2020

Last week the President Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) met (webinar) to review policy recommendations around three sub-committee reports: 1) Industries of the Future (IotF), chaired be Dario Gil (d Read more…

By John Russell

AWS Solution Channel

Best Practices for Running Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Workloads on AWS

The scalable nature and variable demand of CFD workloads makes them well-suited for a cloud computing environment. Many of the AWS instance types, such as the compute family instance types, are designed to include support for this type of workload.  Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Supercomputing the Pandemic: Scientific Community Tackles COVID-19 from Multiple Perspectives

Since their inception, supercomputers have taken on the biggest, most complex, and most data-intensive computing challenges—from confirming Einstein’s theories about gravitational waves to predicting the impacts of climate change. Read more…

Penguin Computing Brings Cascade Lake-AP to OCP Form Factor

July 7, 2020

Penguin Computing, a subsidiary of SMART Global Holdings, Inc., announced yesterday (July 6) a new Tundra server, Tundra AP, that is the first to implement the Intel Xeon Scalable 9200 series processors (codenamed Cascad Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Max Planck Society Begins Installation of Liquid-Cooled Supercomputer from Lenovo

July 9, 2020

Lenovo announced today that it is supplying a new high performance computer to the Max Planck Society, one of Germany's premier research organizations. Comprise Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

President’s Council Targets AI, Quantum, STEM; Recommends Spending Growth

July 9, 2020

Last week the President Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) met (webinar) to review policy recommendations around three sub-committee reports: Read more…

By John Russell

Google Cloud Debuts 16-GPU Ampere A100 Instances

July 7, 2020

On the heels of the Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU launch in May, Google Cloud is announcing alpha availability of the A100 “Accelerator Optimized” VM A2 instance family on Google Compute Engine. The instances are powered by the HGX A100 16-GPU platform, which combines two HGX A100 8-GPU baseboards using... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Q&A: HLRS’s Bastian Koller Tackles HPC and Industry in Germany and Europe

July 6, 2020

In this exclusive interview for HPCwire – sadly not face to face – Steve Conway, senior advisor for Hyperion Research, talks with Dr.-Ing Bastian Koller about the state of HPC and its collaboration with Industry in Europe. Koller is a familiar figure in HPC. He is the managing director at High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) and also serves... Read more…

By Steve Conway, Hyperion

OpenPOWER Reboot – New Director, New Silicon Partners, Leveraging Linux Foundation Connections

July 2, 2020

Earlier this week the OpenPOWER Foundation announced the contribution of IBM’s A21 Power processor core design to the open source community. Roughly this time Read more…

By John Russell

Hyperion Forecast – Headwinds in 2020 Won’t Stifle Cloud HPC Adoption or Arm’s Rise

June 30, 2020

The semiannual taking of HPC’s pulse by Hyperion Research – late fall at SC and early summer at ISC – is a much-watched indicator of things come. This yea Read more…

By John Russell

Racism and HPC: a Special Podcast

June 29, 2020

Promoting greater diversity in HPC is a much-discussed goal and ostensibly a long-sought goal in HPC. Yet it seems clear HPC is far from achieving this goal. Re Read more…

Top500 Trends: Movement on Top, but Record Low Turnover

June 25, 2020

The 55th installment of the Top500 list saw strong activity in the leadership segment with four new systems in the top ten and a crowning achievement from the f Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Supercomputer Modeling Tests How COVID-19 Spreads in Grocery Stores

April 8, 2020

In the COVID-19 era, many people are treating simple activities like getting gas or groceries with caution as they try to heed social distancing mandates and protect their own health. Still, significant uncertainty surrounds the relative risk of different activities, and conflicting information is prevalent. A team of Finnish researchers set out to address some of these uncertainties by... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Turns Its Massive Crowdsourced Computer Network Against COVID-19

March 16, 2020

For gamers, fighting against a global crisis is usually pure fantasy – but now, it’s looking more like a reality. As supercomputers around the world spin up Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Rallies a Legion of Computers Against the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Last week, we highlighted [email protected], a massive, crowdsourced computer network that has turned its resources against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe – but [email protected] isn’t the only game in town. The internet is buzzing with crowdsourced computing... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Simulations Reveal the Fate of the Neanderthals

May 25, 2020

For hundreds of thousands of years, neanderthals roamed the planet, eventually (almost 50,000 years ago) giving way to homo sapiens, which quickly became the do Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

DoE Expands on Role of COVID-19 Supercomputing Consortium

March 25, 2020

After announcing the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium on Sunday, the Department of Energy yesterday provided more details on its sco Read more…

By John Russell

Honeywell’s Big Bet on Trapped Ion Quantum Computing

April 7, 2020

Honeywell doesn’t spring to mind when thinking of quantum computing pioneers, but a decade ago the high-tech conglomerate better known for its control systems waded deliberately into the then calmer quantum computing (QC) waters. Fast forward to March when Honeywell announced plans to introduce an ion trap-based quantum computer whose ‘performance’ would... Read more…

By John Russell

Neocortex Will Be First-of-Its-Kind 800,000-Core AI Supercomputer

June 9, 2020

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC - a joint research organization of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh) has won a $5 million award Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Global Supercomputing Is Mobilizing Against COVID-19

March 12, 2020

Tech has been taking some heavy losses from the coronavirus pandemic. Global supply chains have been disrupted, virtually every major tech conference taking place over the next few months has been canceled... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Leading Solution Providers


10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU: Up to 2.5X the HPC, 20X the AI

May 14, 2020

Nvidia's first Ampere-based graphics card, the A100 GPU, packs a whopping 54 billion transistors on 826mm2 of silicon, making it the world's largest seven-nanom Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

‘Billion Molecules Against COVID-19’ Challenge to Launch with Massive Supercomputing Support

April 22, 2020

Around the world, supercomputing centers have spun up and opened their doors for COVID-19 research in what may be the most unified supercomputing effort in hist Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Australian Researchers Break All-Time Internet Speed Record

May 26, 2020

If you’ve been stuck at home for the last few months, you’ve probably become more attuned to the quality (or lack thereof) of your internet connection. Even Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

15 Slides on Programming Aurora and Exascale Systems

May 7, 2020

Sometime in 2021, Aurora, the first planned U.S. exascale system, is scheduled to be fired up at Argonne National Laboratory. Cray (now HPE) and Intel are the k Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

TACC Supercomputers Run Simulations Illuminating COVID-19, DNA Replication

March 19, 2020

As supercomputers around the world spin up to combat the coronavirus, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is announcing results that may help to illumina Read more…

By Staff report

$100B Plan Submitted for Massive Remake and Expansion of NSF

May 27, 2020

Legislation to reshape, expand - and rename - the National Science Foundation has been submitted in both the U.S. House and Senate. The proposal, which seems to Read more…

By John Russell

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This