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Texas advanced computing centre launches new supercomputer

Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas has launched a new supercomputer - Stampede2 - with help from a $30 million award from the US National Science Foundation (NSF).

The new systems, the largest at any US university, will support nation's scientists and engineers.

‘Stampede2 represents a new horizon for academic researchers in the US,’ said Dan Stanzione, TACC's executive director. ‘It will serve many thousands of our nation's scientists and engineers, allowing them to improve our competitiveness and ensure that UT Austin remains a leader in computational research for the national open science community.’

AT the opening ceremony representatives from TACC were joined by leaders from The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas System, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and industry partners Dell EMC, Intel and Seagate.

‘For 16 years, the Texas Advanced Computing Center has earned its reputation for innovation and technological leadership,’ said Gregory L. Fenves, president of UT Austin. ‘It is only fitting that TACC has designed and now operates the most powerful supercomputer at any university in the US, Stampede2, enabling scientists and engineers to take on the greatest challenges facing society.’

Made possible by a $30 million award from NSF, Stampede2 is the newest strategic resource for the nation's academic community and will enable thousands across the US. The supercomputer will allow researchers to answer questions that cannot be addressed through theory or experimentation alone.

‘Building on the success of the initial Stampede system, the Stampede team has partnered with other institutions as well as industry to bring the latest in forward-looking computing technologies combined with deep computational and data science expertise to take on some of the most challenging science and engineering frontiers,’ said Irene Qualters, director of NSF's Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure.

Stampede2 will be among the first systems to employ new computer processor, memory, networking, and storage technology from its industry partners. Phase 1 of the system, which is currently complete, ranked as the 12th most powerful supercomputer in the world on the June Top500 list and contains 4,200 Intel Xeon Phi processor-based nodes and Intel Omni-Path Architecture. Later this year, Phase 2 will add 1,736 Intel Xeon Scalable processor-based nodes, increasing peak performance to approximately18 petaflops. In addition, Stampede 2 will later add Intel’s persistent memory, based on 3D XPoint.

‘Intel and TACC have been collaborating for years to provide the high-performance computing (HPC) community the tools they need to make the scientific discoveries and create solutions to address some of society's toughest challenges,’ said Trish Damkroger, Vice President of Technical Computing at Intel. ‘Intel's leading solution portfolio for HPC provides the efficient performance, flexible interconnect, and ease of programming to be the foundation of choice for leading supercomputing centers.’

You can read the full story from Aaron Dubrow on the TACC website.

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