NCSA 30 | Timeline
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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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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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