Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) Revealed Plans to Deploy a 10 Petaflops System

TACC announced today plans to deploy one of the world fastest supercomputer – a 10 petaflop machine in the beginning of 2013. The money is coming from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) "eXtreme Digital" (XD) program.

When completed, the system will comprise several thousand Dell servers with Intel Sandy Bridge-EP CPUs (PCI-Express Generation 3).  The CPUs will provide 2 petaflops of peak performance. The system will also include the Intel Knights Corner accelerators (finally another option instead of NVIDIA) that will add additional 8 petaflops for a total of 10 petaflops. The cluster will be connected with InfiniBand FDR 56Gb/s network , which according to HPC Wire is from Mellanox (well… this is an easy guess…).

This is a great win for commodity HPC (we do not like proprietary), a great system for research, and a great win for the companies that really drive HPC innovations – Intel and Mellanox, and for the company that knows how to package it together – Dell. I really hope that now Dell will increase its investment in HPC activities, such as workshops etc, as it seems that they went the other way.

I hope to see many more!


  1. I am not sure if this is a wise idea with the economy downhill and the costs of this Giga Petraflop machine going above millions.

  2. The only way to get the economy to the right way is with education and research. I agree that wasting money on proprietary systems is the wrong way, but this is a great example of system based on commodity hardware. This kind of spending is positive spending.