Sandia National Laboratories expanded its Cray-built supercomputer so that it has a peak performance of 52 teraflops (trillions of calculations/sec), a 12-teraflop boost from its current capacity.
"The upgrade to the Red Storm computer lets us carry out unprecedented simulations," says William Camp, director of computation, computers, information and mathematics at Sandia. "For example, we can resolve climate calculations to within 10 km or about 0.1° of Earth's circumference, which is beyond the current state of the art. We can carry out larger simulations that are faster than those of previous systems by an order of magnitude. The added capacity will let us undertake new and more complex research."
The upgraded Red Storm supercomputer will contain 14,348 AMD Opteron processors, more than 72 terabytes/sec of system memory bandwidth, more than 125 terabytes/sec of sustained bandwidth, and 400 terabytes of disk storage.
Several challenging problems are already running at large scale on Sandia's Red Storm supercomputer. For example, the Sandia-NCAR Spectral Element Atmospheric Model runs on 10,000 processors of Red Storm for 36 hr to simulate 20 days of global weather. The billion-gridpoint simulation of the entire Earth uses an average grid spacing of 13 km.
Sandia and Cray designed the Red Storm computer as part of a $90 million contract under the DOE's Advanced Simulation & Computing program. The computer design became the basis for the Cray XT3 massively parallel supercomputer.