IBM doubles U of L computing power for advanced research projects

August 2, 2011 — The University of Louisville (UofL, Kentucky) worked with IBM (NYSE:IBM) to double the school’s high-performance computing power as part of a $1.8 million investment in its supercomputing system. U of L needed the additional capacity to power advanced research projects on treating pediatric cancer and developing better materials for solar power, both of which are at critical development stages.

The Cardinal Research Cluster (CRC) supercomputing system, an IBM iDataPlex high performance computing cluster, was first installed in 2009, and had reached 100% capacity. The UofL CRC added a new iDataPlex systems to the original cluster and now has a peak speed of more than 40 teraflops (trillion calculations per second), roughly 10,000 to 20,000 times faster than today’s average desktop computer. The Health Resources and Services Administration, a unit of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided a $1.8 million grant to fund the upgrade.

Researchers at the UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center working on cancer treatments for the last 3 years have screened over 200 cancer targets in the maxed-out system. The enhanced computer will enable an additional focus on pediatric cancers, such as Neuroblastoma and Ewing’s Sarcoma.

The supercomputer is also in use by researchers at UofL’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research to explore new semiconductor materials to improve solar energy capture technologies.

IBM also awarded UofL a Shared University Research (SUR) award to help further the school’s efforts: extra computing systems and access to IBM engineers who will work closely with the University’s information technology staff to get maximum performance from the supercomputer.

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