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Grace Hopper Powers Science on NERSC's New Cray XE6

June 4, 2010

Contact: Linda Vu, lvu@lbl.gov, 510-495-2402

Credit: Designed by Caitlin Youngquist (Berkeley Lab). Photo of Grace Hopper cou

Credit: Designed by Caitlin Youngquist (Berkeley Lab). Photo of Grace Hopper courtesy of the Hagley Museum & Library, PC20100423_201. Click here to download a pdf.

American computer scientist Grace Hopper will power science on the cabinets of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center's (NERSC) petascale Cray XE6 system.  A pioneer in the field of software development and programming languages, Hopper created the first compiler. She was a champion for increasing the usability of computers, understanding that their power and reach would be limited unless they were made to be more user-friendly. NERSC's new flagship machine is named "Hopper" in her honor.

Cray launched the XE6 supercomputing system last week at its annual gathering of users in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Hopper system is being deployed at NERSC in two-phases—last year the system arrived as a Cray XT5 and over the next few months will be upgraded to a petascale XE6 system.

The new flagship system will feature Cray’s new Gemini interconnect, which will improve performance of scientific applications as well as system reliability and resilience. Phase-2 will also incorporate innovative ECOphlex liquid cooling technology, which will increase the machine’s energy efficiency.

"At NERSC, we serve a diverse scientific workload and a large user base that includes more than 3,000 scientists and engineers performing a wide array of unclassified research. Our center needed a supercomputing system that is energy efficient and delivers outstanding performance on real-world applications and we're looking forward to making a petascale system using Cray's latest technology available to our broad user community as they tackle some of the most critical problems facing society today, such as cleaner energy and climate change," said Kathy Yelick, Director of NERSC at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

For more information about Hopper, please visit:
Hopper (Phase 1) Prepares NERSC for Petascale Computing

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.