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PNNL supercomputer fastest open system in U.S.

RICHLAND, Wash. -- The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is now home to the United States' fastest operational unclassified supercomputer. The laboratory's 11.8 teraflops industry-standard HP Integrity system came to full operating power this week, marking the next advance in high-performance computing designed to enable new insights in the environmental and molecular sciences, including chemistry, biology, climate and subsurface chemistry.

Based on peak performance, the PNNL machine is the fifth fastest system in the world and is the fastest unclassified computer operating in the U.S. The laboratory ordered the supercomputer from HP in April 2002. "Computational resources such as the PNNL supercomputer are essential to DOE's commitment to provide the most innovative solutions to critical energy and environmental problems," said Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. "DOE continues to demonstrate its competitiveness in high-performance computing capabilities by investing in new systems and new approaches to scientific inquiry."

The PNNL system is the world's fastest supercomputer based on the Linux operating system and is the largest machine ever built using Intel's 64-bit architecture.

"With this machine, PNNL is providing a balanced architecture that is designed specifically for environmental, chemical and biological sciences and the priorities of DOE's Office of Science," said PNNL Director Len Peters. "The laboratory led the supercomputer industry by ordering one of the first large cluster systems in 1996, and has once again demonstrated that an investment in mission-focused computing can open new scientific frontiers. We're pleased we could partner with HP on such an accomplishment."

PNNL's supercomputer draws its speed and computing power from nearly 2,000 next-generation Intel Itanium-2 processors code-named "Madison," running on industry-standard HP Integrity servers. Linking the Intel Itanium2 chips is a
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Contact: Staci Maloof
staci.maloof@pnl.gov
509-372-6313
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
26-Aug-2003


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