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New Year’s Resolution Met: Half of PSC’s XT3 Up and Running

PITTSBURGH, December 28, 2004 — Ten new Pittsburgh black-and-gold cabinets represent a flurry of activity over the holidays at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. Nearly half of PSC’s brand new XT3 “Red Storm” system, more than 1,000 processors mustering roughly five teraflops of capability, was installed and humming in PSC’s machine room in time to bring in the new year.

This is the first installed system of the Cray, Inc. XT3 product line announced in October 2004.

Photo of initial installment of PSC's XT3 system. Close-up photo of initial installment of PSC's XT3 system.

In Pittsburgh black and gold, ten racks of XT3 containing nearly 1,000 AMD Opteron processors, stand side-by-side in PSC's machine room at the Westinghouse Energy Center, Monroeville, Pa. With a cabinet door open (right), the XT3's green lights flash within seconds of the initial power on.

A team of Cray, Inc. engineers worked together with PSC and Westinghouse staff. “The modularity of this system,” says J. Ray Scott, PSC assistant director of systems and operations, “made it feasible for us to move expeditiously and to split the installation in this way.” Scott and his staff worked through the holidays to oversee the installation.

A number of applications are running on the new system. These include storm forecasting, earthquake modeling, quantum chromodynamics, cosmology and numerical relativity. A quantum materials science application, LSMS, shows per-processor performance on the XT3 more than twice that of LeMieux, PSC’s existing Terascale Computer System. PSC manager of strategic applications, Nick Nystrom, and his staff have coordinated bringing these applications onto to the new system.

See also:
Supercomputer update, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Red Storm Comes to Pittsburgh, PSC
Video of the installation: [Windows Media]

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh together with the Westinghouse Electric Company. It was established in 1986 and is supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry.


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Michael Schneider
Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

Sean Fulton
Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

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