New Teragrid Goes Beyond Supercomputing

first_imgFour U.S. scientific institutions have been promised $53 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build and operate the nation’s most powerful research network. The computer network’s official name is the Distributed Terascale Facility, taken from its targeted capacity to perform trillions of operations per second (teraflops) and store hundreds of terabytes of data. But if it’s a success, it may go down in history as Internet 3.The teragrid, as it’s been dubbed, is touted as a new breed of supercomputing, with software that will allow high-speed, high-bandwidth connections previously not possible. “It’s not just size or speed,” says Fran Berman, head of the San Diego Supercomputer Center. “This will change how people use data, and how they compute.” Her counterpart at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in Urbana-Champaign, Dan Reed, says it will “eliminate the tyranny of time and distance.” Speaking at a hastily arranged teleconference shortly after the award was approved by the National Science Board last Thursday, project leaders said that the teragrid will be a boon for researchers working on everything from drug discovery to long-range climate forecasting.The institutions–the University of California, San Diego; the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena; and Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago–were the only entrants in what was scheduled to be a competition. “We were under a lot of political pressure to get this out by September,” says an NSF official, “and we only gave them 3 months to put together their bid.” Despite the advantage of having an open field, the winners put together a proposal “that passed [peer review] with flying colors,” says Bob Borchers, NSF’s head of advanced computing. “We told them what we were looking for, and they responded magnificently.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The teragrid will build upon an existing 40-billion-bits-per-second fiber-optic network, the so-called Internet 2, created by Qwest, one of three key industrial partners in the facility. It will rely on clustered Linux servers from IBM powered by thousands of Itanium-family processors from Intel. Each of the four institutions will contribute hardware and software to the teragrid, which by April 2003 is expected to deliver 13.6 teraflops of computing power and more than 450 terabytes of storage. NSF officials hope to then “deepen” the network to connect a steadily rising number of regional and local sites.last_img