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InTheLoop | 08.14.2006

The weekly electronic newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences employees

August 14, 2006

NERSC Signs Contract for 100 Teraflop/s Cray Supercomputer

Last week, the negotiations for NERSC’s next large supercomputer concluded with the announcement that Cray Inc. had won the competitive bidding process. A successor to the massively parallel Cray XT3 supercomputer, the system installed at NERSC will be among the world’s fastest general-purpose systems. It will deliver sustained performance of at least 16 trillion calculations per second—with a theoretical peak speed of 100 trillion calculations per second—when running a suite of diverse scientific applications at scale. The system uses thousands of AMD Opteron processors running tuned, lightweight operating system kernels and interfaced to Cray’s unique SeaStar network.

The systems and multi-year services contract, valued at over $52 million, includes delivery of a Cray massively parallel processor supercomputer, code-named “Hood.” The contract also provides options for future upgrades that would quadruple the size of the system and eventually boost performance to 1 petaflop/s (1,000 trillion floating point operations per second) and beyond.

Cray will begin shipping the new supercomputer to the NERSC facility later this year, with completion of the installation anticipated in the first half of 2007 and acceptance in mid-2007. More information can be found at http://www.lbl.gov/CS/Archive/news081006.html.

Lab’s Summer Students to Present Posters Tuesday, Aug. 15

On Tuesday, August 15, the Center for Science and Engineering Education will be holding its annual Undergraduate Student Poster Session from 3–5 p.m. in the cafeteria. All Lab employees are invited to attend the session, which showcases the breadth of research activities the students participated in during their stint at the Laboratory. Refreshments will be served: come for the cookies, stay for the science!

Aug. 15 Advance Registration Deadline for Women in Computing Conference

Advance registration, at lower rates, has been extended to Tuesday, Aug. 15, for the 6th Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) of Women in Computing Conference, to be held Oct. 4–7 in San Diego. The Grace Hopper Celebration is the leading conference for women in computer science and provides a forum to inspire, educate, encourage and create awareness of opportunities for women in the field of computing and to celebrate the considerable achievement of women in the field. This year’s theme, “Making Waves,” emphasizes the expanding circles of influence and impact women have on the computing and technology fields. Cecilia Aragon of the Visualization Group is one of the speakers in a session on “Latinas in Engineering.”

To register for the conference or for more information see http://www.gracehopper.org. The preliminary program can be found at http://www.gracehopper.org/conference/schedule/.

Ergonomics: Prevent Discomfort

Ergo injuries are preventable if discomfort is reported early! Common symptoms include:
 • soreness
 • pain
 • numbness
 • cramping
 • tingling
 • burning
 • swelling
 • loss of strength
 • change in skin color
 • stiffness, loss of flexibility
 • sore eyes.

When you begin to experience musculoskeletal discomfort, (1) notify your supervisor and safety coordinator, (2) request an ergonomic evaluation, and (3) seek medical assistance from Health Services. For additional information, see your supervisor or contact CS EH&S liaison Betsy MacGowan (x2826).

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences organization provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing the Department of Energy's research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 6,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). CRD conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation. NERSC and ESnet are DOE Office of Science User Facilities.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the DOE’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.