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Rensselaer Research Review Spring 2007 * Feature Articles Awards & Grants Recent Patents Accolades
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Rensselaer Supercomputer Ranks Seventh in the World
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Rensselaer Supercomputer Ranks Seventh in the World

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* CCNI Sneak Preview
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Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson discussed the CCNI with NYS Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (right) and IBM Senior Vice President & Director of Research John Kelly III ’78 (center) at a special sneak preview event in May.
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The new supercomputer at Rensselaer has been ranked seventh in the world, and it is the most powerful of any system based at a university, according to the 29th edition of the closely watched Top500 list.

The Top500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers was released June 27 at the International Supercomputing Conference in Dresden, Germany. The list can be found on the Web at http://www.top500.org/list/2007/06/100.

The Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI), the result of a $100 million partnership involving Rensselaer, IBM, and New York state, is designed to continue advancing semiconductor technology to the nanoscale, while also enabling key nanotechnology innovations in the fields of energy, biotechnology, arts, and medicine.

At the heart of the facility is an IBM Blue Gene supercomputer that will operate at more than 90 peak teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second). When fully operational, all of the components associated with the center will provide more than 100 teraflops of computing power in a heterogeneous computer architecture built on a common file system. That amounts to about 15,000 calculations each second for every person in the world.

CCNI will provide a platform for researchers to perform a broad range of computational simulations, from the interactions between atoms and molecules up to the behavior of the complete device. The center will be an important resource for companies of any size — from start-ups to established firms — to perform research that would be impossible without both the computing power and the expert researchers at CCNI.

In a May 18 event at the Rensselaer Technology Park, the partners provided a sneak preview of the facility that will be at the heart of the center’s capabilities. Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson was joined by Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno and John E. Kelly III, IBM’s senior vice president of technology and intellectual property. An archived Web cast of the “CCNI Sneak Preview” event is available online at http://mediasite.itops.rpi.edu/mediasite4/catalog/.

Cadence Design Systems, a leader in electronic design automation software, and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), a global supplier of integrated circuits for personal and networked computing and communications, intend to collaborate with Rensselaer and IBM in advanced simulation and modeling of nanoelectronic devices and circuitry. The funding for the project was coordinated by and will be administered through the Empire State Development Corporation.

Computational System

The CCNI will operate heterogeneous supercomputing systems consisting of massively-parallel Blue Gene supercomputers, Power-based Linux clusters, and AMD Opteron processor-based clusters.

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