Federal Stimulus Funds Drive World’s Fastest Supercomputer

WASHINGTON, November 17, 2009 – An upgrade to a high-performance computing system housed by the Department of Energy has created the fastest supercomputer in the world, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory announced Tuesday.

“Supercomputer modeling and simulation is changing the face of science and sharpening America’s competitive edge,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu in a statement. “Oak Ridge and other DOE national laboratories are helping address major energy and climate challenges and lead America toward a clean energy future.”

The upgrade of the supercomputer, known as Jaguar, was funded by $19.9 million provided through the economic stimulus package enacted by Congress earlier this year. “Jaguar is the scientific research community’s most powerful computational tool for exploring solutions to some of today’s most difficult problems,” according to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is research facility managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.

Jaguar is currently being used to explore solutions for climate change through simulations and to study potential new energy technologies. “Researchers anticipate that this unprecedented growth in computing capacity may help facilitate improved climate predictions, fuel-efficient engine designs, better understandings of the origin of the universe and the underpinnings of health and disease, and creation of advanced materials for energy production, transmission, and storage,” according to the lab.

For the nerds in the world, in order for Jaguar to rank number one in the world its “Cray XT5 component was upgraded this fall from four-core to six-core processors and ran a benchmark program called High-Performance Linpack at a speed of 1.759 petaflop/s (quadrillion floating point operations, or calculations, per second).”

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