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Cray Delivers First Third of the Franklin XT4 System to NERSC

January 16, 2007

On Tuesday, January 16, 2007, NERSC received the first installment of its new Cray XT4 supercomputer. Although a test system had been delivered the previous fall, the delivery of 36 cabinets (including 3,336 computational dual core nodes) marks the start of the installation of the full system, which is expected to go into production this summer.

Named “Franklin” after Benjamin Franklin, America’s first scientist, the Cray XT4 will consist of more than 19,000, processor cores when fully installed. It will deliver sustained performance of at least 16 trillion calculations per second, with a theoretical peak speed of more than 100 teraflop/s. Franklin the computer was powered up for the first time on January 17, thus celebrating its birthday with Benjamin Franklin, who was born January 17, 1706.

“Franklin, the world's largest XT4 system, represents 10 times more computing power than any other NERSC system,” said Bill Kramer, NERSC’s general manager. “We are extremely pleased to be able to make such a significant addition to the resources our computational scientists use.”

Assembled and shipped from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, the cabinets feature a distinctive blue and gold color scheme reflecting their new home in Berkeley.

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 7,000-plus 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 Department of Energy 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.