IMSS unveils $4.2 million high performance computing center

IMSS has recently completed a $4.2 million campus computing upgrade, creating a new High Performance Computing (HPC) Center to assist labs across campus with large-scale computational work.

Vice Provost Kaushik Bhattacharya notes that “high-performance computing has become a ubiquitous tool in all areas of science and engineering. This facility eliminates the barrier to entry and enables Caltech researchers to focus on the core research issues in an HPC environment without having to maintain their own systems.”

Previously, only labs that were able to build their own HPC systems had access to robust computing resources; the new system, on the other hand, will be able to serve the entire campus, says Aaron McKinnon, associate director of academic computing services.

Funded by the Office of the Provost and a $2 million grant from the Moore Foundation, the HPC Center boasts nearly 7,500 CPU cores and 200 NVidia P100 graphics-processing units.

It also holds 2.5 petabytes of high-speed storage—the equivalent of about 8.5 years’ worth of high-definition video. The system is especially useful for researchers who want to perform computer modeling, simulations, or visualizations, McKinnon says.


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