Miles of Cable

Lynn Layman (right), manager of supercomputing at Westinghouse Energy Center, who oversaw the TCS installation, contemplates some of the 14 miles of Quadrics interconnect cable by which 3,000 TCS processors talk to each other rapidly and without stopping for long breaks.

Total TCS floor space is roughly that of a basketball court. By careful site planning and redesign of the AlphaServer configurations, PSC engineers reduced the distance between processors, thereby also reducing the cabling and minimizing network latency. Power cabling is installed under a large signal-cable support grid just under the floor (below left) that resembles a mattress frame. A similar grid supports additional cables on top of the AlphaServer cabinets.

Along with being a world-class computing system, the TCS is a powerful generator of heat. With a cooling load of 2.5 million BTUs, running the TCS is equivalent to burning 169 pounds of coal an hour. More than 600 feet of eight-inch cooling pipe, weighing 12 tons, circulate up to 900 gallons of water per minute. Twelve 30-ton air-handling units (white cabinets) provide cooling capacity equivalent to 375 room air conditioners.

Lynn Layman
			with TCS cabling.
TCS installation. Grid flooring exposed. TCS installation. Grid flooring exposed. TCS installation. Grid flooring exposed. TCS installation. Grid flooring exposed.