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Titan cluster comes online

The cluster, named Titan, was the world's largest Itanium cluster, consisting of 160 dual-processor IBM IntelliStation machines. Titan had a peak performance of 1 trillion calculations per second (1 teraflop). Titan also became a resource for the TeraGrid, the world's largest, fastest, most comprehensive distributed computing infrastructure for open scientific research. "Titan's availability means that the user community now has an opportunity to deploy applications on...

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Advanced Computation Building gets bigger

On Wednesday, Sept. 5, more than 500 people came to ACB on the U of I campus to officially open the two-story, 18,029-square-foot addition to the building, dedicate NCSA's first Itanium-based Linux cluster, and celebrate the beginning of the TeraGrid project. NCSA Director Dan Reed, University of Illinois President James Stukel, Gadi Singer of Intel, David Turek of IBM, Wes Kaplow of Qwest, and Tom Garritano...

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NSF creates TeraGrid

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $53 million to four U.S. research institutions to build and deploy a distributed terascale facility (DTF). The DTF will be the largest, most comprehensive infrastructure ever deployed for scientific research—with more than 13.6 teraflops (trillions of calculations per second) of computing power as well as facilities capable of managing and storing more than 450 terabytes (trillions of bytes)...

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NCSA tests out Itanium™

Rob Pennington, NCSA's then-Chief Technical Officer, always says that he and his team want to be involved with new architectures and computing technologies when vendors "have nothing to show us but a drawing and a bag of sand." When Intel completed its first 64-bit chips, the center wasn't given quite that much lead time, but it was close. Within six weeks of the first processors coming...

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Dan Reed becomes director

"The transition really began on the first business day of 2000. Larry Smarr walked into my office, closed the door, and said 'We need to talk.' At that point, I knew my life was about to change in a dramatic way," said Dan Reed. Reed already had a pretty darn good job when he became NCSA's director some nine months after that first conversation. He was...

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nug30 solved on Grid

In what one researcher called one of "the largest Grid computing successes for the Alliance" to date, researchers at National Computational Science Alliance partners University of Iowa and Argonne National Laboratory announced that they used the Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI) Grid to solve the nug30 quadratic assignment problem (QAP). Nug30 had gone unsolved since 1968 when it was first proposed as a test...

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NCSA hits one million CPU hours in a month

August 1999 marked the first time usage of a National Science Foundation high-performance computer topped one million normalized CPU hours in one month. According to figures from Quantum Research, which measures computer usage at NSF-support sites, NCSA's 1,536-processor SGI Origin2000 supercomputer provided 1,136,676 normalized CPU hours to 736 national users in August, tripling the usage from August 1998. A normalized CPU hour is equivalent to...

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Faculty Fellows Program created

Since NCSA launched its fellowship program in 1999, more than 100 University of Illinois researchers have benefited from close collaboration with the center’s expert staff and access to high-performance computers and other resources. Participants have come from a wide range of disciplines: agriculture, art, business, education, engineering, library science, medicine, and more. ...

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Newsweek features NCSA

At the height of the tech surge that marked the late 19902, Newsweek asked: "Can any place ever hope to match the awesome success of Silicon Valley?" It then proceeded to answer its own question by rattling off 10 metro areas that might someday fit the bill. Champaign-Urbana—thanks in no small part to NCSA, which was featured in the article—made the cut. "With no dramatic beachfront...

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NT supercluster debuts

In 1998, Andrew Chien, then a professor in the University of Illinois Department of Computer Science and a member of the Alliance Parallel Computing Team, and his research group worked with staff from NCSA to construct a 256-processor Windows NT supercluster for high-performance computing research. The supercluster consisted of 32 Compaq and 96 Hewlett Packard Windows NT PC workstations. These 128 workstations, connected by a...

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