New supercomputer to be built on campus

Kayla Jonsson

[Corrected Sept. 22: Removed last two graphs]

UT’s Texas Advanced Computing Center plans to build a supercomputer with state-of-the-art computing and visualization capabilities as part of a National Science Foundation grant.

The NSF will provide $27.5 million immediately and is expected to invest $50 million total over the next four years for the new system, called “Stampede.” It will be the most powerful system in the NSF’s eXtreme Digital program, which enables advancement in science and engineering research, according to the center.

“This is a very generous donation, so we are very excited,” said President William Powers Jr.

Dell and Intel will work with the center to build the supercomputer. The machine will address challenging science and engineering problems such as weather forecasting, climate modeling, energy exploration and production, drug discovery, developing new materials and building safer automobiles and airplanes.

“NSF funded the [past supercomputers], ‘Lonestar’ and ‘Ranger’ — the top technologies for their times,” Powers said. “UT has been on the leading edge of technology for the last 10 years. Stampede will ensure that we remain there.”

The network will use new technology to explore phenomena that are too big, small or dangerous to be studied in a laboratory.

According to the center, Stampede is expected to be up and running in January 2013 at UT’s J.J. Pickle Research Campus, replacing the current supercomputer, Ranger. The grant may be renewed in 2017, which would offer another four years of the network.

TACC director and scientist Jay Boisseau said the center will release more information about Stampede at a press conference today.

The system will support more than 1,000 science and engineering projects across the country through a peer review system and will allow sharing of research and expertise. Clemson University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, Cornell University, Indiana University, Ohio State University and the University of Texas at El Paso will use Stampede. 

Printed September 22, 2011 as: Supercomputer will help explore phenomena