Supercomputer to be substitute for nuclear tests

Experts at Los Alamos National Laboratory at Los Alamos, N.M., Mexico are providing supercomputer power to simulate nuclear weapons to maintain confidence in the nation`s nuclear arsenal without the need to detonate atomic weapons.

Oct 1st, 1998

Experts at Los Alamos National Laboratory at Los Alamos, N.M., Mexico are providing supercomputer power to simulate nuclear weapons to maintain confidence in the nation`s nuclear arsenal without the need to detonate atomic weapons.

Scientists at the laboratory are continuously upgrading their supercomputer complex in what they call a race to create the conditions under which the United States would enter a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which would permanently ban all nuclear tests.

The finish line in this race, they estimate, is 100 teraflops of computing power - a single teraflop is one trillion computer instructions per second - by the year 2004.

Their solution is the Cray Origin 2000 server from Silicon Graphics Computer Systems in Mountain View, Calif. The end product is known as Blue Mountain, the world`s highest-sustained-performance supercomputer, which technicians are assembling now in modules at Los Alamos.

Blue Mountain is organized into 48 128-processor shared-memory multiprocessors interconnected by 36 16-port high- performance parallel interface (HIPPI) switches. According to Los Alamos scientists, Blue Mountain will have 75 terabytes of high-performance Fibre Channel disk, making it the largest "disk farm" ever assembled for one computer.

Furthermore, "all of our components are commercial off the shelf...This approach is a departure from the one traditionally used by high performance vendors," says Derek Robb, Silicon Graphics manager for the program - J.R.

For more information about the Origin 2000 servers, contact Silicon Graphics by phone at 650-933-7777, by fax at 650-932-0737, by post at 2011 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View, Calif. 94043, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.sgi.com/.

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