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And the supercomputing award goes to...

The wait is over for those eager to know who will be building the fastest computer in the world. Yesterday, August 8, the NSF linkurl:decided;http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=109850&org=NSF&from=news to award $208 million to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, for its "Track One" proposal to build a supercomputer with more than a petaflop of processing power -- a whopping 1000-trillion calculations per second. As I linkurl:reported;http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/8/1/4

By | August 9, 2007

The wait is over for those eager to know who will be building the fastest computer in the world. Yesterday, August 8, the NSF linkurl:decided;http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=109850&org=NSF&from=news to award $208 million to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, for its "Track One" proposal to build a supercomputer with more than a petaflop of processing power -- a whopping 1000-trillion calculations per second. As I linkurl:reported;http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/8/1/44/1/ in this month's issue, one of the three other contenders for this award was the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), whose technology scouts have been eagerly -- and somewhat nervously -- awaiting NSF's decision. Their proposal would have cost more than $200 million as well and also included more than a petaflop of processing power. It would have replaced their current trusty, but aging, system, "BigBen." The other award up for grabs was a "Track Two" proposal for $65 million that went to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, for another extremely fast supercomputing system. PSC had put a proposal in for that as well. I touched base with Nick Nystrom, PSC's director of strategic applications -- the guy in charge of keeping the center's computers up-to-date -- to get his reaction to the decision. "Of course it's a disappointment to not receive one of those two awards, but there are only a finite number of them," he said. His team at PSC is already working hard to meet the November 30 deadline for the next round of "Track Two" proposals, the details of which he is keeping closely guarded. "We'll write another strong proposal and hopefully we'll succeed," he said. "This is the way the business works."
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