$30 million Award to the Texas Advanced Computing Center

Posted on: June 29, 2016

Earlier this month, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a $30 million award to the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin. The award is to design, develop, deploy and maintain a new large scale super computing system, Stampede 2. Once deployed, the new system will double the peak performance, memory, storage capacity and bandwidth of the existing Stampede system. Deployment will be in phases and use a variety of new technologies.

Stampede 2 will be deployed by TACC in conjunction with vendor partners Dell Inc., Intel Corporation, and Seagate Technology, and operated by a team of cyber infrastructure experts at TACC, UT Austin, Clemson University, Cornell University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, Indiana University, and Ohio State University.  Once deployed, Stampede 2 will deliver peak performance of up to 18 Petaflops and will be one of the first systems in the country to use cutting edge processor and memory technology.  As a leadership-class system, Stampede 2 will accelerate academic and scientific discovery and power leading-edge research to both enable and advance science and society.

By providing high-performance computing (HPC) to thousands of researchers in a wide variety of disciplines, Stampede 2 will serve as a strategic national resource, enabling discoveries that change our world. Dan Stanzione, executive director of TACC and principal investigator of the Stampede and Stampede 2 projects, observed “The kind of large-scale computing and data capabilities that systems like Stampede and Stampede 2 provide are crucial for innovation in almost every area of research and development.” He also noted that “The original Stampede system has run more than seven million simulation and data analysis jobs for tens of thousands of users around the country and around the world.”  Stampede 2 will enable even more massive computations and provide awesome visualization and data analysis capabilities for our nation’s researchers.

NSF-supported research cyberinfrastructure resources continue to increase across all science and engineering disciplines. In the past eleven years, institutions using this research cyber infrastructure have doubled, the number of principle investigators has tripled, and the number of active users has quintupled. Through the NSF-funded Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), researchers across the country can gain access to Stampede, other HPC machines, high throughput computing machines, visualizations, data storage, testbeds, and other advanced computing resources and services. Expanding the Stampede system will enable a growing number of scientists to have access to computation at-scale.  Learn more on the TACC website.

The announcement of NSF funding for Stampede 2 was made at a celebration recognizing TACC’s 15th anniversary and the dedication of a new building for advanced computing on the UT Austin J.J. Pickle Research Campus. In addition to distinguished speakers, the event included a symposium on advanced computing featuring users of the system: Omar Ghattas, a UT Austin computational geoscientist/engineer and recent winner of the Gordon Bell prize for the most outstanding achievement in high performance computing; Ellen Rathje, of UT Austin, who leads the NSF-funded DesignSafe infrastructure; Peter Couvares of Syracuse University from the Advanced LIGO project, which recently confirmed the first observation of gravitational waves; and Nirav Merchant from the University of Arizona, who is co-principal investigator of the NSF-funded CyVerse life sciences cyber infrastructure.

TACC will continue to work with the NSF and others to ensure that advanced HPC solutions are available to fuel both academic and scientific discovery. Congratulations go out to Dan Stanzione, Executive Director, and the entire amazing and talented TACC team!