The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced today that it has provided $ 60 million to the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the University of Texas at Austin for the purchase and deployment of a new supercomputer. University and the most powerful in the world.
The new system, known as Frontera (Spanish for "frontier"), will be operational in 201
"Supercomputers – such as telescopes for astronomy or particle accelerators for the Physics – are essential research tools needed to answer questions that can not be researched in the lab or on the field, "said Dan Stanzione, Executive Director of the TACC. "Our systems to date have made great discoveries, from the confirmation of gravitational wave detection by the laser interferometer gravitational-wave observatory to the development of artificial intelligence-based tumor detection systems." Frontera will advance science and technology. "  "For more than three decades, NSF has led the way in providing the computing resources that our country's researchers need to accelerate innovation," said NSF Director France Córdova. "Holding the US at the forefront of advanced computing capabilities and providing researchers across the country access to these resources is key to maintaining our status as a global leader in research and education, an investment in the entire US research ecosystem allow jump-ahead discoveries. "
Frontera is the latest in a series of successful awards and deployments of TACC with support from NSF. Since 2006, TACC has built and operated three supercomputers that debuted in the top 10 most powerful systems in the world: Ranger (2008), Stampede1 (2012) and Stampede2 (2017). Three more systems debuted in the Top 25.
If completed today, Frontera would be the fifth largest system in the world, the third fastest in the US and the largest at any university. By comparison, Frontera will be about twice as powerful as Stampede2 (currently the fastest university supercomputer) and 70 times faster than Ranger, which operated until 2013. To compare what Frontera will calculate in a second, a person would have to perform a calculations every second for about a billion years.
"Today's NSF award consolidates the University of Texas' reputation as a leader in academic supercomputing," said Gregory L. Fenves, president of UT Austin. "UT is proud to offer the research community the world-class capabilities of TACC, and we look forward to contributing to the many discoveries that Frontera will make possible."
Frontera's early projects are expected to include analysis of Large Hadron Collider particle collisions, global climate modeling, improved hurricane prediction, and multi-messenger astronomy
The primary computer system is provided by Dell EMC and powered by Intel processors , Data Direct Networks will provide the primary storage system, and Mellanox will provide the high-performance connection for the machine. NVIDIA, GRC (Green Revolution Cooling) and cloud providers Amazon, Google and Microsoft will also play a role in the project.
"The new Frontera systems represent the next phase in the long-term relationship between TACC and Dell EMC, focused on applying the latest technological innovation to truly unlock human potential," said Thierry Pellegrino, vice president of Dell EMC High Performance Computing. "The considerable strength and scale of this new system will help researchers from Austin and the United States harness the power of technology to bring about new discoveries and advances in science and technology over the coming years."
"The Accelerated Scientific Discovery Is Key The foundation of the TACC mission and the enabling of technology that drives these discoveries and innovations is a key focus of Intel," said Patricia Damkroger, vice president of the Intel Data Center Group and General Manager of the Extreme Computing Group. "We are proud that the close partnership we have built with TACC continues TACC's selection of next-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors as the computing module for its flagship Frontera system."
Faculty at the Department of Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) at UT Austin will lead the world-class science applications and technology team, with partners from the California Institute of Technology, Cornell University, Princeton University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, the University of Utah and the University of California, Davis.
Experienced technologists and operations partners from the above locations, as well as Ohio State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Texas A & M University will ensure that the system functions effectively in all areas including security, user engagement and human resource development With tremendous computing power, storage capacity, bandwidth, and storage capacity, Frontera will usher in a new era in computer science and engineering that seamlessly integrates data and models to gain a new understanding that neither could have achieved on their own. " said Omar Ghattas, Director of the Center for Computational Geosciences at ICES and Co-Principal Investigator at the Awards Ceremony
Frontera's name alludes to "Science the Endless Frontier", the title of a report by President Vanderavar Bush to President Harry Truman of 1945 to found the National Science Foundation.
"NSF was born from World War II and the idea that science and scientists had allowed our nation to win the war, and continued innovation would be required to win the peace," said Stanzione. "Many of the limitations of today's research can only be broadened through computers, and Frontera will be an important tool to solve major challenges that will improve our country's health, well-being, competitiveness and security."
Frontera will start production in the summer of 2019 and will operate for five years. The prize will not only serve as a resource for the country's scientists and engineers, but will also support efforts to test and demonstrate the feasibility of an even larger future leadership-class system that is ten times faster than Frontera and possibly Phase 2 of the project.
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