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Star of Arkansas Makes Prestigious List of World’s Fastest Supercomputers

Star of Arkansas, a supercomputer operated by the University of Arkansas and the most powerful computer in the state, has been listed as one of the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers.

Each year, the global high-performance computing community announces the TOP500, a list of the world’s most powerful computers. At this year’s International Supercomputing Conference in Dresden, Germany, Star of Arkansas was ranked at No. 339. The university is one of only 33 entries from U.S. academic institutions to make the list.

“The Star of Arkansas is enabling a new level of research at the University of Arkansas and across the state,” said Amy Apon, professor of computer science and engineering and director of high-performance computing at the university. “For example, the memory capacity of this supercomputer has allowed one of our researchers to complete a complex job overnight. This same task would have taken a year on a regular workstation. Other projects have been reduced from weeks on a previous supercomputer to days on Star of Arkansas. These are exciting results.”

In high-performance computing, processing speed is measured in floating-point operations per second, commonly referred to as flops. Star of Arkansas has a sustained performance of 10.75 teraflops per second. “Tera” stands for a trillion, which means that Star of Arkansas has a processing speed of close to 11 trillion floating-point operations per second.

In contrast, the Roadrunner supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, is the fastest supercomputer in the world. It performs at more than 1 petaflops, or a quadrillion floating-point operations per second. This is the first year that the TOP500 has included a supercomputer that operates at petaflops speed.

Star of Arkansas enables research projects in computer science, physics, chemistry and other areas. It helps scientists and engineers design and execute vastly more complicated experiments, models and simulations than previously possible. The computer also is used for massive data storage and complex computations.

Star of Arkansas was funded in part by an $803,306 grant from the National Science Foundation. Substantial matching funds were provided by the university, in partnership with Dell Corp.

Star of Arkansas is the university’s second supercomputer. The first supercomputer, Red Diamond, was installed in 2005 and is still in use.

For more information about the TOP500, visit For more information about high-performance computing at the university, please go to Installation of Star of Arkansas may be viewed at .

Amy Apon, professor of computer science and computer engineering and director of high-performance computing
College of Engineering
(479) 575-6794,

Matt McGowan | newswise
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