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U.S. Army awards Negrut $120,000 to augment supercomputer

Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Dan Negrut received a $120,000 Army Research Office instrumentation grant to augment the supercomputer operated by the Wisconsin Applied Computing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Using space and support provided by Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) IT group in one of their data centers, this grant will upgrade Euler, an existing cluster, with 1024 AMD cores gained from 64 new 16-core AMD Opteron processors. A third of the CPUs were made available through a sponsorship from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), the remainder of the CPUs and hardware were procured through the Army Research Office grant. The new hardware will upgrade an existing heterogeneous cluster that was built in 2011 around a set of 56 Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) cards donated by NVIDIA. With a theoretical peak rate of approximately 21,000 billion double precision operations per second (21 Teraflops), the heterogeneous CPU-GPU cluster will be one of the fastest supercomputers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

The supercomputer is the central asset of the recently formed Wisconsin Applied Computing Center, which aims to support researchers seeking new ways in which high performance computing can be used to advance the state of the art in modeling and simulation in a variety of disciplines. The supercomputer will be used in ongoing projects with the US Army’s Tank Automotive Engineering, Research and Development (TARDEC) Center, to support NSF-sponsored projects, and to enhance ties with several domestic and international industry partners. The supercomputer is also used in teaching the Spring 2012 graduate-level class "High Performance Computing for Engineering Applications."Now at its third offering, the class is taken this semester by 28 graduate students from 11 departments at UW-Madison. There are more than 60 active users on Euler, a number that is expected to increase substantially in the near future. The new hardware became fully operational on April 15, 2012.

Mark Riechers
4/13/2012