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Cluster aids computational science research

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Louisiana State University (LSU) has purchased an IBM Power7 system to advance computational science research at its Center for Computation and Technology (CCT) and Department of Chemical Engineering.

The system, dubbed ‘Pandora’, will support a wide range of computational science, such as cyberinfrastructure frameworks, domain-specific application development, and advanced computational modelling in fluid dynamics, biology, chemistry, oceanography, astrophysics, and materials.

Pandora contains eight 32-core IBM Power 755 nodes running 3.3GHz Power7 processors. These give the system 6.8 Tflops of peak performance. Each node is organised as a four 8-core Power7 processor, so it can operate at higher core processing speeds than LSU’s other HPC systems. The IBM Power 755 platforms are suited to highly-parallel, computationally-intensive workloads, such as weather and climate modelling, quantum chemistry simulations, astrophysics models, materials design and petroleum reservoir studies.

‘We envision this resource as a stepping stone to Blue Waters, the Power7-based Petascale computer being built and housed at the University of Illinois as NSF’s Track 1 leadership class system,’ said Honggao Liu, LSU’s HPC director. ‘The proposed system will advance CCT and LSU in supercomputing technology and enable academic departments and multi-organisation collaborations at LSU to operate in well-equipped research environments that provide a direct growth path to national level systems.’