Pittsburgh Center Unveils a Bigger, Faster Supercomputer Called "Big Ben"
NSF's Bement says the machine is "a significant leap" in research and education capacity
Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) now has it own "Big Ben" -- only this technological bellwether rings out in teraflops. PSC acquired Big Ben, the first XT3 system to be shipped from Cray, Inc., with a $9.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Big Ben can perform 10 teraflops, or 10 trillion calculations, per second, making it 2.4 times faster than PSC's former high-performance computing leader, LeMieux. But like LeMieux, Big Ben will serve as an integral component in the NSF-supported TeraGrid, the world's largest, most comprehensive cyberinfrastructure for open scientific research.
A host of dignitaries attended the July 20 ceremony, including NSF Director Arden L. Bement, Jr. and the foundation's assistant director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Peter A. Freeman.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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