National Lab Replaces Supercomputer With Newer, Faster Model

InformationWeek (07/31/12) Patience Wait

Argonne National Laboratory recently started accepting applications from scientists that want to use its new Mira supercomputer, which is ranked the third fastest in the world and has 768,000 core processors and operates at more than eight petaflops. Mira’s initial applications include studying the quantum mechanics of new materials, measuring the role and impact of clouds on climate, and modeling earthquakes. Those and 13 other projects are part of Argonne’s Early Science Program and are intended advance science, as well as evaluate Mira’s performance, according to Argonne’s Mike Papka. “A new architecture with a new system software stack, and at a scale that is larger than anyone else has run previously, results in a system that will have issues never seen before,” Papka says. “These issues need to be exposed and addressed before we go into production, and it often requires real users running real code on the system.” About 60 percent of Mira’s processing cycles will be devoted to projects selected for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment program, and 30 percent will go to projects accepted into the Advanced Science Computing Research Leadership Computing Challenge.

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