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April 1997

Science Briefing

Another computer vendor is joining the ranks of those with a major presence in SCD. This month, UCAR signed a contract with the Hewlett-Packard (HP) Company to purchase an HP Exemplar X-Class system. The purchase is part of a joint research and development project between NCAR and HP's Convex Division, located in Richardson, Texas.

During the project, NCAR and HP expect to develop the expertise and tools needed to use distributed shared-memory systems, such as the Exemplar, for numerical models. The X-Class is HP's fourth-generation system based on the shared-memory architecture, called CC-NUMA (cache-coherent, nonuniform memory access). The Exemplar X-Class system to be installed at NCAR will have 64 processors and a peak speed of 46 gigaflops, or 46 billion floating point operations per second.

"The Exemplar is an intriguing next step in our effort to stay abreast of new architectures and new techniques," says SCD director Bill Buzbee. Toward this end NCAR has worked closely over the past eight years with a variety of vendors, including Thinking Machines, IBM, Cray Research, and Cray Computer.

NCAR is procuring the HP Exemplar system under NASA's Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement (SEWP) program, which is open to NASA, NASA contractors, federal agencies, and federal agency contractors.

Hewlett-Packard is a leading global manufacturer of computing, communications, and measurement products and services. See HP Exemplar Technical Servers for additional information about the Exemplar system.


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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu