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Stampeding towards the future

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In a ceremony held at The University of Texas at Austin's Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), a National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported world-class supercomputer named Stampede has been officially dedicated. Operational since 7 January 2013, the Stampede system has been busy with more than 600 active scientific and engineering projects – and more than 1,000 researchers – already using the system to execute simulation and data analysis applications.

With a theoretical peak performance of nearly 10 petaflops, enabled by using two different Intel processor technologies in Dell's new PowerEdge C8220 servers, Stampede is now the most powerful and capable of the 16 high performance computing, visualisation and data analysis resources in the NSF-funded Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) partnership.

The base cluster comprises 6,400 nodes with two Intel Xeon E5 processors each, providing 2.2 petaflops of computing power. It also offers powerful remote visualisation capabilities, large shared memory nodes, and a large, comprehensive set of software applications and tools. This base system has already been accepted by NSF, and has successfully executed more than 450,000 computational jobs to date. In addition, Stampede adds a new, innovative technology: the highly parallel Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors.

The 6,880 Xeon Phi coprocessors, which are currently in user evaluation mode, add more than seven additional petaflops of performance to Stampede, making it the largest installation of Intel's new Xeon Phi highly parallel coprocessors in the world. It is also the largest Dell public production cluster deployed to date. Stampede is the fifth world-class system deployed by TACC, Dell and Intel and supported by NSF to enable open science since 2003.

‘Stampede has been designed to support a large, diverse research community,’ said TACC director, Jay Boisseau, who is also the lead principal investigator of the Stampede project. ‘We're as excited about Stampede's comprehensive capabilities and its high usability as we are of its tremendous performance. Stampede will lead the way to major advances in all fields of science and engineering. It's an honour to be at this intersection of advanced computing technologies and world-class science, and we thank NSF, Dell and Intel for their roles in helping TACC design, deploy and operate Stampede.’