New CRAY XE6m Enhances Efficiency and Speed of High Performance Computing Lab

New CRAY XE6m Enhances Efficiency and Speed of High Performance Computing Lab
September 01, 2011

A state-of-the-art Cray XE6m, made available to GW’s High Performance Computing Laboratory (HPC Lab) through a $1.2 million National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation Grant, will expand the HPC Lab’s research program and supercomputing applications, says Dr. Tarek El-Ghazawi, HPC Lab director.

The new Cray will support researchers of the Institute for Massively Parallel Applications and Computer Technologies (IMPACT) for which Dr. El-Ghazawi is the founder and director, and the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) for which Dr. El-Ghazawi is a co-associate director of the Component, as part of a larger GW research effort that includes both the Medical School and the Children's National Medical Center to increase the speed with which scientific breakthroughs can be brought to clinical applications for children.

The Cray is packaged with the modern language United Parallel C (UPC), a language which Dr. El-Ghazawi played a major role in developing. The new Cray is characterized with an advanced interconnection network that makes it possible to use modern programming languages like UPC more effectively. The HPC Lab will use the Cray XE6m system to support the research of principal investigators in high-energy physics simulations and data analysis, computational fluid dynamics, vegetation modeling, and for exploring new supercomputing programming concepts.

The Cray Supercomputer system has 1,344 compute cores (processors), 10.6 Tflops (10.6 Trillions Calculations Per Second) of total system peak performance, and 1.9 Tbytes of memory. It uses modern chips, each containing 12 processors allowing the entire system to fit into one rack.

The range of research projects at the HPC Lab spans architectures, programming, and applications of advanced processor technologies and large scale parallel systems. The HPC lab has participated in many national research programs such as the DARPA HPCS and has received funding from many government agencies including DARPA, NSF, DoD, NASA, NRO, AFRL, ARSC/HPCMP, and DoE/LBNL. Industrial funding has been provided directly by HP, SGI, Microsoft, IBM, and Mellanox, as well as memberships through the NSF Industry/University Center for High-Performance Reconfigurable Computing (CHREC).