CCS News archive
DOE Leadership-Class Computing Capability for Science will be developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham announced May 12, 2004 that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will grant ORNL and its development partners, Cray Inc., IBM Corp. and Silicon Graphics Inc., $25 million in funding to begin to build a 50 teraflop (50 trillion calculations per second) science research supercomputer. “This new facility will enable the Office of Science to deliver world leadership-class computing for science,” said Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. “It will serve to revitalize the U.S. effort in high-end computing.” full text of Secretary Abrahms' Leadership Class Computing Announcement, DOE Press Release, ORNL News Media Release
Cray X1 evaluation is extremely positive
In FY03, CCS procured a 256-processor Cray X1 (known as "Phoenix") to evaluate the processors, memory subsystem, scalabiltiy of the architecture, software environment and to predict the expected sustained performance on key DOE applications codes. The results of the micro-benchmarks and kernel benchmarks show the architecture of the Cray X1 to be exceptionally fast for most operations. The best results are shown on large problems, where it is not possible to fit the entire problem into the cache of the processors. These large problems are exactly the types of problems that are important for the DOE and ultra-scale simulation. complete evaluation report
SGI Altix benefits memory-intensive applications
CCS has procured an SGI Altix for memory intensive research applications, such as computational chemistry and materials science. The Altix (dubbed "RAM") offers 2 TB of system memory and runs a single system image operating system (Linux). RAM's 256 processors are each a 1.5 GHz Intel Itanium2; it is the only high performance computer running the Intel IA64 chip, which is one of Intel’s fastest chips.
IBM's Federation Switch to speed up Cheetah
Cheetah (the IBM Power4) is getting a speedup by transition to the new Federation switch architecture from IBM. Six of the 27 IBM Cheetah frames have already been moved from the former Colony switch to Federation, allowing the nodes to communicate at a data rate of 4Gb/s, double the speed of the old switch.
IPCC climate runs progressing well
A significant portion of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment simulations (1100 simulated years) are being calculated at CCS using CCSM2 in a high resolution atmospheric Configuration. IPCC has been receiving dedicated use of portions of Cheetah since September 2003, and will begin using Phoenix (the Cray X1) in 2004.
New insight on superconductors
A new Quantum Monte Carlo algorithm for quantum many-body systems is applicable for high-temperature superconductors and is the first to directly model superconducting transition. The QMC/DCA code has achieved high efficiency runs on Phoenix (Cray X1). With the Cray at 40-50% efficiency (25x faster than Power4), this will enable systematic study with larger clusters and simulation of actual 3D structure of high-temperature superconductors. handout (pdf)
ORNL to build UltraScience Net
Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been awarded $4.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science to design a high-speed network capable of transporting the massive amounts of science data generated by supercomputers in the 21st century. The prototype is called UltraScience Net, a three-year project that could change the way scientists exchange large amounts of data. more
TeraGrid to link with Oak Ridge neutron science facilities
Researchers from around the nation will have access to data from DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory neutron science facilities because of a $3.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant will fund a network hub and high-performance network connections to the TeraGrid, which when complete will be the fastest research network in the world. The TeraGrid will provide scientists extraordinary amounts of data from ORNL's High Flux Isotope Reactor and the Spallation Neutron Source. The project will be called SETENS: A Southeast TeraGrid Extension for Neutron Sciences.
Phoenix upgraded to 256 processors
On September 24, 2003 work began on the upgrade of the Cray X1 (Phoenix) to 256 processors. Software is being upgraded and additional processors added. The bulk of the work is being done this week, with the remaining processors arriving and being installed over the next few weeks.
ORNL at SC2003
ORNL highlights scientific discoveries through advanced computing in climate, genomics, materials, astrophysics, and fusion made possible by advances in mathematical methods and high performance computing. Learn how performance evaluations of early systems are used to develop specialized techniques to optimize applications for terascale systems. See how OSCAR tools and Harness/PVM help build fault-tolerant clusters that can be administered via a web browser. Check out plug-ins for going unplugged and the CCA (Common Component Architecture) -- the next best thing to cut and paste for developing large-scale multi-disciplinary simulations. more
Fusion results on cover of Physical Review Letters
Results from Fusion users are featured in the September 16 issue of Physical Review Letters, "High-Beta Equilibria of Drift-Optimized Compact Stellarator". The paper's first author is Andrew Ware from the University of Montana-Missoula, one of our university collaborators. ORNL co-authors are S. P. Hirshman, D. A. Spong, L. A. Berry, and J. F. Lyon. The cover of the journal shows the last closed-flux surfaces of two QPS-type stellarator configurations. Spong says that some of the results were calculated on Eagle.
Phoenix upgraded to 128 processors
On July 30th, the CCS began installing the third and fourth cabinets of the Cray X1 computer system (referred to as Phoenix). This upgrade takes the system up to 128 processors. In the photo, Jeff Becklehimer, Jay Young, and Mike McNamara work to connect the third cabinet to the existing two cabinet system. more
Construction continues on a New Computational Sciences Building
Approximately 170,000 sq.ft. will house the Center for Computational Sciences with a new 40,000 sq.ft. computer center and office space for 350 staff members. The computer center will provide state-of-the-art facilities for modern high-performance computers. Features include up to six megawatts of power for the computers with separate power systems for the cooling and the rest of the building, and facilities for both air and water cooling of computers. more
ORNL REview special issue: Supercomputing for Science
From every corner of science a revolution is under way because of the growing amount of data being generated and the rapid increase in scientific understanding resulting from applying advanced computational science tools to these data. more
Orbach: Advanced computing critical to energy research
The Energy Departments program for conducting advanced scientific computing research will play an vital role in agency initiatives to study fusion energy, climate change, nanotechnology and genome properties, DOE Office of Science (SC) Director Raymond Orbach told a department advisory group on Thursday.
"ASCR is critical to SC programs," Orbach told DOEs Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee at a meeting in Washington. Science policy has entered a new phase as the simulations that large-scale computing power can produce are "now driving insight into many areas of science," he said. more
ORNL to test new Cray X1 for DOE
On August 15, 2002 the Department of Energy announced that ORNL has been selected to test the effectiveness of a new Cray Inc. supercomputer architecture in solving important scientific problems in climate, fusion, biology, nanoscale materials and astrophysics. more
New OC192 Link from ORNL to Atlanta
On August 14, 2002 ORNL held a "lighting ceremony" to inaugurate the new OC192 (10 Gbit/s) network connection from ORNL through Chattanooga to the Atlanta GigaPOP (the GigaPOP, known as SoX for Southern Crossroads, is managed by Georgia Tech). At SoX this link connects to Internet2, and will dramatically enhance communications performance between the university research community and ORNL. This high-speed link is provided by Qwest, who also provide the backbone for ESnet and Internet2. The lighting ceremony included participation by Dr. Ray Orbach, director of the DOE Office of Science; Jim Payne, Qwest; Dr. Charles Liotta, Georgia Tech; and Dr. Bill Madia, director of ORNL. more.
Cheetah ranked 8th fastest in Top500
ORNL's newest supercomputer, called "cheetah" (the fastest land mammal), is now ranked the 8th fastest in the world, according to the Top500 list released June 2002. more. Cheetah is a 27 node IBM Power4 rated at 4 TFLOPS. These "Regatta" nodes have 32 processors each. The machine has 1 TB of memory and 24 TB of disk. more info, photos, installation movie.
ORNL Breaks Ground on a New Computational Sciences Building
In March 2002, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory began construction of a new 300,000 sq.ft. laboratory and office building. Approximately 170,000 sq.ft. will house the Center for Computational Sciences with a new 40,000 sq.ft. computer center and office space for 350 staff members. The computer center will provide state-of-the-art facilities for modern high-performance computers. Features include a three-foot high raised floor with a cable management system installed under the floor, up to six megawatts of power for the computers with separate power systems for the cooling and the rest of the building and facilities for both air and water cooling of computers. Additional laboratories in the building will support scientific visualization, geographic information systems, intelligent computing systems, computer science, data communications and both quantum and optical computing. more
CCS gets 4 TeraFLOP system
A new supercomputer recently installed at ORNL's Center for Computational Sciences gives scientists at laboratories, universities and research sites across the country a state-of-the-art resource to solve a vast array of the nation's most pressing problems. The projected performance of
4 Tflopsplaces the new machine as one of the world's most powerful civilian supercomputers. Provided as part of the Department of Energy's Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SCiDAC) program, the supercomputer serves research communities including: astrophysics, biology, chemistry, climate, fusion, and materials.
The new computer is called "cheetah" (the fastest land mammal). Cheetah is a 27 node IBM Power4 rated at 4 TFLOPS. These "Regatta" nodes have 32 processors each. The machine has 1 TB of memory and 24 TB of disk. more info, photos, installation movie.
News items from 2000