IU, Purdue to join quest for world’s fastest computer

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) _ Indiana University and Purdue University will join a national program to build the world’s fastest computer for open scientific research. The two schools will become part of the National Science Foundation’s “Teragrid” network, officials at both schools announced Monday. The foundation awarded $3 million to enable the universities to link their campuses in Bloomington, Ind. and West Lafayette to a national supercomputer network. The grid will make it possible to perform 20 trillion calculations a second and enable academic researchers to harness that power no matter where they are. The project will create a smaller state network called the IP-grid. IU, Purdue and IUPUI already are linked by I-Light, a state-funded optical fiber network built in 2001. “At one level, this really means that Indiana as a state has joined the big leagues in supercomputing,” said Michael McRobbie, IU vice president for research and information technology. “I think it’s a testament to the quality of the infrastructure and the science being done here,” he said. “And at the same time, it is going to really open up a whole range of new opportunities to IU scientists.” The Indiana grid will connect with TeraGrid through a hub in Chicago. The TeraGrid connection could be completed within six months, said McRobbie. The National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois is in charge of the $88 million national project. Other TeraGrid partners include the San Diego Supercomputer Center, Argone National Laboratory in Illinois, and the Caltech Center for Advanced Computing Research. Also Monday, the National Science Foundation announced two other Teragrid grants: $3.9 million to Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee to establish a new network hub in Atlanta; and $3.2 million to the Texas Advanced Computing Center for a connection at the University of Texas in Austin.

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