ORNL To Evaluate Novel Supercomputer

June 04, 1998

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., June 4, 1998 -- Next-generation computing is just a processor or two away for the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), which has been designated by DOE to evaluate the first in a new line of supercomputers from the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based SRC Computers Inc.

The SRC 6 supercomputer is the first release of an innovative computer design developed by the Colorado firm founded by Seymour R. Cray. The computer features a combination of high performance features not available with conventional massively parallel computer designs. By acquiring the SRC 6, the DOE Office of Energy Research adds another contender for achieving computers exceeding 40 teraops by 2003. A teraop is a trillion mathematical calculations per second.

"This project shows the Department of Energy?s commitment to exploring the frontiers of computing," said Martha Krebs, director of DOE's Office of Energy Research. "A crucial part of this evaluation is determining the effectiveness of this type of supercomputer for solving scientific problems critical to DOE missions. Oak Ridge National Laboratory's experience under DOE's high-performance computing program positions it to effectively carry out this work."

ORNL plans to purchase two SRC 6 units for the evaluation process, which will cover systems and components as well as methods to connect multi-processor units. This and the evaluation process will be a joint effort between ORNL and SRC. The results of this evaluation will enable SRC Computers to develop a multi-teraops successor product, the SRC 7.

Ken Kliewer, director of the ORNL Center for Computational Sciences, which will conduct the evaluation, sees the acquisition of the SRC 6 as a leap toward the next century.

"The SRC design is truly innovative," Kliewer said. "Having the opportunity to provide the first detailed examination of a novel system like this does not occur often. Needless to say, we are delighted and are looking with great anticipation to working with SRC Computers on this important project."

"As with all machines designed by Seymour Cray, high-performance memory design is a key feature," Kliewer said. "By using large numbers of memory banks and a separate memory port for each processor, memory throughput and system performance are dramatically improved over bus-based systems."

Kliewer also noted that the SRC 6 complies with the DOE philosophy of using commodity off-the-shelf components and systems while incorporating a noteworthy level of innovation. The SRC 6 will use Intel's Pentium II Xeon processors with clock speeds exceeding 400 megahertz. The SRC 7 is expected to use Intel's 64-bit Merced processors. The SRC 6 will also use static RAM memory, which improves memory access time by a factor of three.

Among the novel features of this design is its use of field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) for both communication and computing tasks. FPGAs are electrical circuits that programmers can configure to implement algorithms resulting in a speedup of the calculation. The appropriate way of mixing traditional computer tasks and FPGA tasks for a given problem will be an important component of the SRC 6 evaluation process.

"We expect the SRC 6 to out-perform other designs of comparable CPU power and to be far easier to program," Kliewer said. "We are anticipating the participation of many users with a large variety of applications codes in our SRC 6 evaluation. And we expect them to be impressed with the machine, both in performance and ease of use."

ORNL, one of DOE's multiprogram research facilities, is managed by Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

If you would prefer to receive your press releases by e-mail, please send your e-mail address to culverjw@ornl.gov.

You may read other press releases from Oak Ridge National Laboratory or learn more about the lab if you have access to the Internet. You can find our information on the World Wide Web at http://www.ornl.gov/news.

For more information about ORNL's Center for Computational Sciences, visit its Web site at http://www.ccs.ornl.gov/SRC/.
-end-


DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Related Supercomputer Articles from Brightsurf:

Supercomputer reveals atmospheric impact of gigantic planetary collisions
The giant impacts that dominate late stages of planet formation have a wide range of consequences for young planets and their atmospheres, according to new research.

Supercomputer model simulations reveal cause of Neanderthal extinction
IBS climate scientists discover that according to new supercomputer model simulations, only competition between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens can explain the rapid demise of Neanderthals around 43 to 38 thousand years ago.

Supercomputer simulations present potential active substances against coronavirus
Several drugs approved for treating hepatitis C viral infection were identified as potential candidates against COVID-19, a new disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Coronavirus massive simulations completed on Frontera supercomputer
Coronavirus envelope all-atom computer model being developed by Amaro Lab of UC San Diego on NSF-funded Frontera supercomputer of TACC at UT Austin.

Supercomputer shows 'Chameleon Theory' could change how we think about gravity
Supercomputer simulations of galaxies have shown that Einstein's theory of General Relativity might not be the only way to explain how gravity works or how galaxies form.

Scientists develop way to perform supercomputer simulations of the heart on cellphones
You can now perform supercomputer simulations of the heart's electrophysiology in real time on desktop computers and even cellphones.

Tianhe-2 supercomputer works out the criterion for quantum supremacy
A world's first criterion for quantum supremacy was issued, in a research jointly led by Prof.

Supercomputer simulations show new target in HIV-1 replication
Nature study found naturally-occurring compound inositol hexakisphosphate (IP6) promotes both assembly and maturation of HIV-1.

Researchers measure the coherence length in glasses using the supercomputer JANUS
Thanks to the JANUS II supercomputer, researchers from Spain and Italy (Institute of Biocomputation and Physics of Complex Systems of the University of Zaragoza, Complutense University of Madrid, University of Extremadura, La Sapienza University of Rome and University of Ferrara), have refined the calculation of the microscopic correlation length and have reproduced the experimental protocol, enabling them to calculate the macroscopic length.

Officials dedicate OSC's newest, most powerful supercomputer
State officials and Ohio Supercomputer Center leaders gathered at a data center today (March 29) to dedicate the Owens Cluster.

Read More: Supercomputer News and Supercomputer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.