Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New Iowa State supercomputer, Cystorm, unleashes 28.16 trillion calculations per second

Srinivas Aluru recently stepped between the two rows of six tall metal racks, opened up the silver doors and showed off the 3,200 computer processor cores that power Cystorm, Iowa State University's second supercomputer.

And there's a lot of raw power in those racks.

Cystorm, a Sun Microsystems machine, boasts a peak performance of 28.16 trillion calculations per second. That's five times the peak of CyBlue, an IBM Blue Gene/L supercomputer that's been on campus since early 2006 and uses 2,048 processors to do 5.7 trillion calculations per second.

Aluru, the Ross Martin Mehl and Marylyne Munas Mehl Professor of Computer Engineering and the leader of the Cystorm project, said the new machine also scores high on a more realistic test of a supercomputer's actual performance: 15.44 trillion calculations per second compared to CyBlue's 4.7 trillion per second. That measure makes Cystorm 3.3 times more powerful than CyBlue.

Those performance numbers, however, do not earn Cystorm a spot on the TOP500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers. (When CyBlue went online three years ago, it was the 99th most powerful supercomputer on the list.)

"Cystorm is going to be very good for data-intensive research projects," Aluru said. "The capabilities of Cystorm will help Iowa State researchers do new, pioneering research in their fields."

The supercomputer is targeted for work in materials science, power systems and systems biology.

Aluru said materials scientists will use the supercomputer to analyze data from the university's Local Electrode Atom Probe microscope, an instrument that can gather data and produce images at the atomic scale of billionths of a meter. Systems biologists will use the supercomputer to build gene networks that will help researchers understand how thousands of genes interact with each other. Power systems researchers will use the supercomputer to study the security, reliability and efficiency of the country's energy infrastructure. And computer engineers will use the supercomputer to build a software infrastructure that helps users make decisions by identifying relevant information sources.

"These research efforts will lead to significant advances in the penetration of high performance computing technology," says a summary of the Cystorm project. "The project will bring together multiple departments and research centers at Iowa State University and further enrich interdisciplinary culture and training opportunities."

Joining Aluru on the Cystorm project are five Iowa State researchers: Maneesha Aluru, an associate scientist in electrical and computer engineering and genetics, development and cell biology; Baskar Ganapathysubramanian, an assistant professor and William March Scholar in Mechanical Engineering; James McCalley, the Harpole Professor in Electrical Engineering; Krishna Rajan, a professor of materials science and engineering; and Arun Somani, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering and Jerry R. Junkins Endowed Chair of electrical and computer engineering. Steve Nystrom, a systems support specialist for the department of electrical and computer engineering, is the system administrator for Cystorm.

The researchers purchased the computer with a $719,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, $400,000 from Iowa State colleges, departments and researchers, and a $200,000 equipment donation from Sun Microsystems.

Because of Cystorm, the computer company will designate Iowa State a Sun Microsystems Center of Excellence for Engineering Informatics and Systems Biology.

While Cystorm is much more powerful than CyBlue, Aluru said Iowa State's first supercomputer will still be used by researchers across campus.

"CyBlue will still be around," Aluru said. "Researchers will use both systems to solve problems. Both systems enhance the research capabilities of Iowa State."

Srinivas Aluru | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht First results of NSTX-U research operations
26.10.2016 | DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

nachricht Scientists discover particles similar to Majorana fermions
25.10.2016 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

The gene of autumn colours

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Polymer scaffolds build a better pill to swallow

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>