PSC at SC05: Networking, TeraGrid, Biomed, Big Ben

PITTSBURGH, November 8, 2005 — At SC05 in Seattle, the international conference for high-performance computing, networking and storage, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center will highlight scientific results achieved on Big Ben, its 10-teraflop Cray XT3. PSC’s networking group will demonstrate innovative new technologies they have developed. PSC’s biomedical group, the National Resource for Biomedical Supercomputing, will show a number of important life-science applications, and researchers will demonstrate PSC software that allows remote interactive control of simulations on Big Ben live from the show floor via the TeraGrid backbone.

Big Ben, which became a TeraGrid production resource on October 1, has already produced significant scientific computations that will be discussed at the PSC booth. PSC scientist Yang Wang will discuss advances in the locally self-consistent scattering method that are making possible direct quantum simulation of nano-structured materials. PSC scientist Shawn Brown will describe large-scale simulations that have elucidated a crucial step in the catalytic process of the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase.

With PSC-developed software that enables real-time access to simulations on Big Ben from remote locations, Paul Woodward, David Porter and colleagues at the University of Minnesota will use Big Ben via the TeraGrid backbone to simulate turbulent fluid dynamics. The researchers rely on a PSC capability — Portals Direct I/O (PDIO) — that routes simulation data from Big Ben’s processors to users anywhere on the network in real time. With PDIO, Big Ben has the ability to deliver sustained data rates of 200 megabits per second, with bursts nearing 800 megabits per second.

Other prominent computational scientists will present talks describing large-scale applications running via the TeraGrid and exploiting the superior performance of Big Ben. These include Peter Coveney of University College London, Nick Nystrom of PSC, Omar Ghattas of the University of Texas, Austin, George Biros of the University of Pennsylvania, Tiankai Tu of Carnegie Mellon University, George Karniadakis of Brown University, Bruce Boghosian of Tufts University, Yoshio Tanaka of AIST, Japan, Hugh Nicholas of PSC, and Thomas Quinn of the University of Washington.

For more details of these talks and demonstrations, see: publicinfo/events/sc05/

PSC’s networking group is actively involved in networking for SC05, including support for the Open Infiniband network for SCinet. They will demonstrate the Network Path and Applications Diagnostics project, which addresses problems of path delay inherent in wide-area networks. They’ll also show HPN-SSH, a high-performance secure shell that eliminates a known SSH bottleneck by allowing flow-control buffers to be defined at runtime.

PSC’s National Resource for Biomedical Supercomputing will show a variety of applications, including MCell for modeling inter-cellular microphysiology, DReAMM for model-building and visualization, the PSC Volume Browser for volumetric visualization and analysis of massive datasets, and the Dynamo molecular simulation program for hybrid quantum mechanical/molecular mechanics simulations.

About PSC:
The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh together with Westinghouse Electric Company. Established in 1986, PSC is supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry, and is a partner in the National Science Foundation TeraGrid program.