AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin today (April 1) announced the donation of a Cray T3E supercomputer to the Institute for Scientific and Technological Research (known by its Spanish acronym, IPICyT) of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
The donation will help spur the development of a national advanced computational infrastructure in Mexico and marks the beginning of collaboration between computational research scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and their colleagues in Mexico, supported by funding from Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology.
The Cray T3E, with 272 processors, more than 35 gigabytes of distributed memory, 450 gigabytes of mass storage and the ability to perform more than 163 billion calculations per second, will significantly enhance the computational resources available to the research community in Mexico.
“The Cray T3E has provided the high performance computing community with a reliable, easy to use, parallel computing environment for many years,” said Chris Hempel, associate director at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). “T3E systems are routinely used as production systems at many leading academic, government and industrial sites.” He said Cray remains an important partner in high performance computing with TACC.
Preparations are under way at IPICyT to install the infrastructure required to accommodate the system. However, the collaboration will start immediately, with the TACC staff managing and maintaining the system at the university for a six-month interim period. During that time IPICyT users will be able to develop parallel algorithms on the T3E and will be given exposure to other parallel architectures available at TACC.
The TACC high-performance computing staff will provide training classes on topics including use of the system, parallel algorithm development and code optimization. As part of the collaboration, IPICyT and TACC will organize an annual workshop on high performance computing.
The donation resulted from the efforts of Dr. Juan Sanchez, vice president for research at The University of Texas at Austin and an external adviser to IPICyT, and Dr. Jose Luis Moran Lopez, general director of IPICyT.
“The deployment of the T3E supercomputer in our institute represents a major development in advanced computing in Mexico and, indeed, in Latin America,” Moran Lopez said.
Alejandro Díaz Ortiz, project leader of the Supercomputer Center at IPICyT, called the supercomputer the foundation for an aggressive computing program at the institute and Mexico.
“The donation of the Cray T3E to IPICyT will foster not only the creation of a supercomputer center outside Mexico
City, but it will serve as the seed to the establishment of a national supercomputer facility, allowing Mexico’s research community to confront problems at the frontier of the computational physics and computational materials science,” Diaz Ortiz said. “The possibilities to tackle such top-notch research problems were, in the past, limited to investigators working abroad, in a first-world country. Having the T3E at IPICyT will certainly help to change that situation.”
Sanchez said the agreement meets the goals of The University of Texas at Austin and IPICyT.
“(University of Texas at Austin) President Larry R. Faulkner’s Latin American initiative and the world-class expertise in computational physics and computational materials resident at IPICyT are the primary drivers behind the relocation of the T3E to San Luis Potosi,” Sanchez said. “This donation marks the beginning of a strong partnership with IPICyT, which I am quite confident will translate into important benefits to both institutions.”
The Instituto Potosino de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (IPICyT) is a public research center of the system CONACyT that generates, transfers and disseminates scientific and technological knowledge in the research fields of Molecular Biology, Environmental Engineering and Management of Renewable Natural Resources, Advanced Materials, Applied Mathematics and Computational Systems, and Economic Geology. It contributes to the regional and national development by means of high-quality scientific production, education of highly qualified human resources, dissemination of knowledge and technological innovation with emphasis on interdisciplinary work.
About the Texas Advanced Computing Center
The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is a computational resource center at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). TACC provides advanced computing resources and services to enable computationally intensive research by researchers at UT Austin and nationwide through its membership in the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI). TACC’s staff also conducts research and development activities to enhance the capabilities of these advanced computing resources.
About Cray Inc.
Cray is the premier provider of supercomputing solutions for customers’ most challenging technical problems.