UCAR Communications


staff notes monthly

December 2002 / January 2003

The top 10:
NCAR supercomputer joins list of world’s fastest

NCAR has jumped into the top-10 elite of the world’s fastest supercomputing centers, according to an annual ranking released in November.

The institution advanced from 11th place in 2001 to 10th place in the most recent list by acquiring Blue Sky, an IBM SP system with a peak speed up to seven trillion calculations per second. The IBM package also includes 21 terabytes of new disk storage. SCD staffers are testing the system, which arrived at the Mesa Lab in September.

NSF purchased the machine for use at NCAR to advance a wide range of research topics in the agency’s 10-year plan for the geosciences. Blue Sky is expected to accelerate research in global and regional climate change, droughts, short- and long-range weather prediction and warnings, wildland fires, turbulence, atmospheric chemistry, space weather, and other critical areas.

“Blue Sky will help provide U.S. scientists with speed, efficiency, and data storage space they need to stay at the forefront of climate, weather, and many other essential areas of research,” says NCAR director Tim Killeen.

In the fall of 2003, NCAR will receive IBM’s next round of switch technology, whose lower latency and higher bandwidth will significantly increase signal speed.

The computer rankings are produced by experts at the University of Mannheim in Germany, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the University of Tennessee. Since 1993, these experts have announced the world’s 500 most powerful computers on a twice-yearly basis. Japan’s Earth Simulator, in Yokohama, was named the world’s fastest supercomputer. •Anatta

Also in this issue...

The Outstanding Accomplishment Awards

Coffee for 1,200?
JOSS group provides logistics for conferences, field programs

From Africa and South America

Scientists explore fundamental building blocks of the atmosphere

NCAR's influence: Way beyond its size

Sittin' with Santa

Delphi Questions

Climate convocation mulls the state of U.S. research


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