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TeraGrid comes online

The first computing systems of the National Science Foundation's TeraGrid project are in production mode, making 4.5 teraflops of distributed computing power available to scientists across the country who are conducting research in a wide range of disciplines, from astrophysics to environmental science. The TeraGrid is a multi-year effort to build and deploy the world's largest, most comprehensive distributed infrastructure for open scientific research. The TeraGrid...

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Donna Cox

Donna Cox gives SC2003 keynote

Donna Cox—an acclaimed artist and a senior research scientist at NCSA—presented her keynote speech, "Beyond Computing: The Search for Creativity," at SC2003, the international conference on high-performance computing and networking. She examined the fusion of high technology and high creativity to produce innovative solutions to the challenges of our age A renowned expert on computer visualization, Cox is a professor in the University's School of...

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Tungsten cluster comes online

Tungsten, a cluster with more than 1,450 dual-processor Dell PowerEdge 1750 servers running Red Hat Linux, a Myrinet 2000 high-speed interconnect fabric, and an I/O subcluster with more than 120 terabytes of DataDirect storage, becomes available for research. The machine achieved a Linpack benchmark performance—the figure used to compile the Top500 list—of 9.8 teraflops (9.8 trillion calculations per second), which at the time rated fourth...

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Ground breaks for NCSA building

Illinois officials broke ground for a $30 million, 142,000-square-foot building for NCSA staff and researchers. The center has grown steadily, and the approximately 400 people employed by NCSA are housed in several buildings across the University's campus, including the Beckman Institute Advanced Science and Technology and the Computing Applications Building. "Uniting many of our people and projects at this state-of-the-art facility will enable an even greater level...

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NCSA leads ONR’s secure systems research center

A new national cybersecurity research center, funded by the Office of Naval Research and led by NCSA, started up in 2003. The National Center for Advanced Secure Systems Research (NCASSR) was launched with an initial $5.7 million grant. "In the past two years, we have all come to understand how vitally important it is for our nation to have a secure cyberinfrastructure," said U.S. House Speaker...

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NCSA's Craig Steffen with the Sony PlayStation2 cluster.

NCSA creates Sony PlayStation2 cluster

When Sony released its PlayStation2 (PS2) game console in 2000, demand far outstripped supply, with eager gamers and desperate parents bidding up to $1,000 on eBay for scarce units. When Sony later released the Linux Kit for the PS2, interest in the machines spread beyond the gaming community to a seemingly unlikely place: NCSA. Researchers at NCSA theorized that because of the unique processor of...

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Dan Reed named to Presidential IT Advisory Committee

Daniel A. Reed, director of NCSA, is among the 25 information technology experts President George W. Bush appointed as members of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC). The members of PITAC provide the president with expert, independent advice on maintaining America's preeminence in advanced information technologies, including such key elements of the national IT infrastructure as high-performance computing, large-scale networking, and high-assurance software and systems...

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NCSA adds Copper cluster

NCSA's IBM POWER4 p690 supercomputer, capable of performing two trillion operations per second, becomes available to the general scientific research community. The POWER4 p690 consists of 384 1.3 GHz processors with a total of 1.5 terabytes of memory. It replaces NCSA's 1,512-processor SGI Origin2000 array, which has a peak performance of 660 gigaflops and 614 gigabytes of total memory. The POWER4 is a Shared Memory MultiProcessor...

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First users move onto TeraGrid

The TeraGrid—the nation's most powerful unclassified computers, scientific applications and visualization environments, datastores and toolkits for grid computing linked by the world's fastest network—didn't enter production until 2004 after three years of development. By 2003, however, several users began to use the system. They put it through its paces and accomplished some significant scientific work in the meantime. Early researchers from the University of Illinois...

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TeraGrid gets bigger

The National Science Foundation's $35 million Extensible Terascale Facility (ETF) award expands the TeraGrid to five sites: NCSA; the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego; Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago; the Center for Advanced Computing Research (CACR) at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena; and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. This...

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