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SDSC Readying ‘Gordon’ Supercomputer for Pre-Production Trials This Month

 UCSD News (CA) (08/09/11) Jan Zverina

 The University of California, San Diego’s San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) this month will launch the pre-production phase of Gordon, the first high-performance supercomputer equipped with large amounts of flash-based solid state drive memory.  Gordon, which has 64 input/output nodes joined by an InfiniBand switch fabric communications link, will be available to U.S. researchers that want to run large-scale database applications, according to SDSC director Michael Norman.  Gordon features about 300 trillion bytes of flash memory that can handle massive databases at speeds up to 100 times faster than hard drive disk systems, according to Norman.  “Now we have enterprise [multi-level cell], and it’s available at both attractive prices and with very good durability (or write endurance), which is achieved by over-provisioning and wear leveling,” he says.  Gordon is designed to help researchers in computational science, visual analytics, and interaction network analyses.  “Data of this size is simply becoming unmanageable for analysis, so there is an urgent need for supercomputers like Gordon,” Norman says.

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