TACC Receives NSF Reward

NSF has awarded $10 million to TACC over the next five years to expand the TeraGrid

August 17, 2005

2 Min Read

AUSTIN, Texas -- The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $10 million to the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin over the next five years to expand the TeraGrid—a national-scale initiative and system of interconnected, leadership-class computers that scientists and engineers use to solve some of their most challenging problems.

“TACC is proud to represent The University of Texas at Austin in working with some of the nation’s leading institutions to develop, operate and evolve the TeraGrid,” says Dr. Jay Boisseau, TACC director and the principal investigator for the university on the project.

What is TeraGrid?

TeraGrid—built over the past four years—is the world's largest, most comprehensive distributed cyberinfrastructure for open scientific research. Only the U.S. Department of Energy's weapons laboratories have larger systems, which are dedicated to classified research. The TeraGrid team expects this comprehensive cyberinfrastructure to affect virtually every scientific discipline that requires intensive computing capabilities, from disease diagnosis and weather forecasting to the study of drug interactions with cancer cells and aircraft design simulation.

"TeraGrid integrates some of the nation's most powerful resources to provide high-capability production services to the scientific community," says Charlie Catlett of Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago, director of the TeraGrid initiative and former chair of the Global Grid Forum. "The purpose of this five-year award is to take the initial TeraGrid system and deepen and evolve its capabilities while continuing to provide a persistent national infrastructure."

TACC’s Involvement

"We’re excited to contribute to the development of the most powerful cyberinfrastructure project in the world today,” Boisseau continues. “TACC is contributing terascale resources and advanced computing technologies based on our deep expertise in user portals, grid scheduling/workflow software, data collections and scientific visualization. These technologies will contribute to the success of the TeraGrid as a powerful tool for knowledge discovery by greatly enhancing its capabilities and simplifying its usage."

For example, Maverick is the result of a joint project between TACC and Sun Microsystems, developed specifically for large-scale problems on the TeraGrid. Maverick is a 128-processor Sun E25K terascale visualization machine with 512 gigabytes of shared memory, backed by a 50 terabyte Sun storage area network. Maverick blends high-performance computing capabilities, large-scale shared memory, and commodity graphics technologies to provide grid-enabled, multi-user remote and collaborative visualization capabilities.

Kelly Gaither, TACC’s associate director of research and development, says: "We’re happy to provide this unique blend of leading-edge and commodity technologies that will allow researchers to interactively investigate massive datasets, decreasing the time to scientific insight.”

Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC)

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