December 09, 2005
The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, Miss., recently installed a Cray XT3 supercomputer that is the most powerful openly announced supercomputer in the Department of Defense. With a peak performance of more than 21 trillion floating point calculations a second, the new machine is ranked number as one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world and holds top rankings on several facets of the HPC Challenge benchmark suite (icl.cs.utk.edu/hpcc/). The DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP) supports the ERDC HPC resources.
"This is a huge boost in computational capability for the Army and the Department of Defense," said Dr. Jeffery P. Holland, director of the ERDC Information Technology Laboratory, where the DoD High Performance Computing Center is located. "The Cray XT3 along with our other systems forms the computational backbone of the support we provide to the defense mission. This new enhancement will enable us to continue to be a leader in providing computational capabilities and expertise for our DoD users worldwide."
"The new Cray XT3 is a highly innovative supercomputer built to handle the most demanding scientific and engineering applications," said John E. West, director of the HPC Center. "Our users will be able to advance their critical research on one of the world's most powerful and efficient supercomputers."
With its 4,176 processors, the Cray XT3 brings ERDC's total computing capability up to 26 trillion floating point calculations a second. To put this in context, it would take 1000 scientists almost 350 years of working around the clock to do the same number of computations the Cray XT3 can do in a single second. Other computer resources at ERDC comprising this capability are a 256-processor Cray X1, two 512-processor SGI Origin 3900s, and a 512-processor Compaq SC45.
In 1993, the DoD HPCMP established the HPC Center at ERDC as the first of four Major Shared Resource Centers throughout the nation. DoD scientists and engineers utilize supercomputing resources to significantly cut defense system costs by shortening the design cycle and reducing reliance on expensive and destructive live experiments and prototype demonstrations.
The ERDC is the premier research and development facility for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) with more than 2,000 employees, $1.2 billion in facilities, and an annual research program approaching $700 million. It conducts research in both military and civil works mission areas for the DoD and the nation.
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