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whos_your_dawgy Offline
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...but interesting.

MSU now among top 10 university supercomputer sites

<a href="http://www.ur.msstate.edu/news/stories/2002/top500.asp" target="_blank">http://www.ur.msstate.edu/news/stories/2002/top500.asp</a>

University Relations
News Bureau (662) 325-3442
Contact: Bob Ratliff
July 3, 2002


STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State continues up the ranks of national supercomputing sites, currently at No. 10 among American universities.

Data on the world’s leading supercomputer sites, termed the “TOP500,” is compiled and released twice a year by the universities of Mannheim (Germany) and Tennessee.

Released at the end of June, the latest list also shows MSU’s Engineering Research Center as the 68th most powerful in the U.S. and tied for 126th in the most-powerful-computer-sites-in-the-world category.

The Starkville institution also contributes to the state of Mississippi’s overall supercomputing power, which now is fifth in the nation and first among all Southeastern states.


“MSU debuted at 359 on the TOP500 list in 1996,” said ERC computer specialist Roger Smith. “Thanks to a new system that actually is a cluster of computers, it has moved to its current position.”

Smith said the cluster is made up of 1,038 processors using special software and a high-speed network to make them function like a single supercomputer.

The ERC at Mississippi State was a pioneered of the use of clustering processors to create supercomputers more than a decade ago. An important part of the clustering process is the Message Passing Interface, or MPI, software partially developed at MSU.

“The cluster enables you to create a lot of computing power using off-the-shelf personal computers and other readily available hardware for much less cost than a traditional supercomputer,” Smith said. “The current MSU cluster is in its sixth generation and has 9.7 terabytes of disk space.”

A terabyte is 1,000 gigabytes or one trillion characters, which is equal to almost 124 million typed pages of information. With 9.7 terabytes of disk space, the ERC supercomputer can store the equivalent of almost 1.8 billion pages.

Computing power is critical to the work of the center, which includes projects ranging from designing and calculating the performance of high-performance aircraft, ships, and automobile components to creating virtual “forests” for use in developing better ways to manage timberland.

“Because computer technology changes rapidly, keeping current with the changes is vitally important for Mississippi State’s research in support of the Department of Defense and other federal agencies, as well as state and national industries,” Smith said.

More information and some fun facts about the ERC’s supercomputer are available at <a href="http://www.erc.msstate.edu/about/facilities/empire/funfacts.html." target="_blank">http://www.erc.msstate.edu/about/facilities/empire/funfacts.html.</a>
07-17-2002 04:23 PM
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