First phase of Titan supercomputer transition completed

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US-based Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jaguar supercomputer has completed the first phase of an upgrade that brings it to 3.3 petaflops, ensuring it remains one of the most powerful scientific computing systems in the world.

Acceptance testing for the upgrade was completed in February 2012. The testing suite included leading scientific applications focused on molecular dynamics, high-temperature superconductivity, nuclear fusion and combustion. Manufactured by Cray, Jaguar is operated by the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF).

When the upgrade process is completed this autumn, the system will be renamed Titan and will be capable of 10 to 20 petaflops, with essentially the same power requirements. Users have had access to Jaguar throughout the upgrade process. ‘During our upgrade, we have kept our users on Jaguar every chance we get,’ said Jack Wells, director of science at the OLCF. ‘We have already seen the positive impact on applications, for example in computational fluid dynamics, from the doubled memory.’

The US DOE Office of Science-funded project, which was concluded ahead of schedule, upgraded Jaguar's AMD Opteron cores to the newest 6200 series and increased their number from 224,256 to 299,008. Two six-core Opteron processors were removed from each of Jaguar's 18,688 nodes and replaced with a single 16-core processor. At the same time, the system's interconnect was updated and its memory was doubled to 600 terabytes. In addition, 960 of Jaguar's 18,688 compute nodes now contain an Nvidia graphical processing unit (GPU). The GPUs were added to the system in anticipation of a much larger GPU installation later in the year.