Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Receives NSF Award for Bridges Supercomputer

$9.65-Million Supercomputer Will Enable Analysis of Vast Data Sets, Ease Entry for New Research Communities into High-Performance Computing

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) award to create a uniquely capable supercomputer designed to empower new research communities, bring desktop convenience to supercomputing, expand campus access and help researchers needing to tackle vast data to work more intuitively. Called Bridges, the new supercomputer will consist of three tiered, memory-intensive resources to serve a wide variety of scientists, including those new to supercomputing and without specialized programming skills. Bridges will offer new computational capabilities to researchers working in diverse, dataintensive fields such as genomics, the social sciences and the humanities.

Bridges represents a new approach to supercomputing, emphasizing research problems that are limited by data movement and analysis, in addition to computational performance as measured by floating-point operations per second (“flops”), and thereby serves new communities of scientists.

“First and foremost, Bridges is about enabling researchers who’ve outgrown their own computers and campus computing clusters to graduate to supercomputing with a minimum of additional effort,” says Ralph Roskies, PSC scientific director and professor of physics, University of Pittsburgh. “We expect it to empower researchers to focus on their science more than the computing.”

A $9.65-million NSF grant will fund the acquisition, to begin in October 2015, with a target production date of January 2016. The system will be architected and delivered by HP® and will feature advanced technology from Intel® and NVIDIA®.

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