Clemson University to serve as key collaborator on Stampede2 supercomputer
Clemson University will play a key role for the Texas Advanced Computing Center’s (TACC) new Stampede2 supercomputer, dedicated on July 28. Stampede2 is the largest supercomputer at any U.S. university, and one of the most powerful systems in the world.
Clemson University will participate in campus bridging, outreach and education for researchers. Building on the success of the campus bridging and series of workshops organized for Stampede, Clemson will focus on targeting the researchers from underrepresented groups, computationally non-traditional fields and researchers from EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) states.
“As a regional leader in advanced cyberinfastructure and support of research, we will closely collaborate with institutions in southeastern states creating community of researchers,” said Marcin Ziolkowski, executive director of Clemson’s Cyberinfrastructure Technology Integration (CITI) group. “The collaboration will focus on all aspects of using Stampede 2 starting from onboarding, the effective use of the instrument by proper modification of software, and ensuring sustained access by promoting collaborative projects.”
Several other leading universities will collaborate with TACC to provide cyberinfrastructure expertise and services for the project, including Cornell University, Indiana University, Ohio State University and the University of Colorado. Dell EMC, Intel and Seagate also serve as corporate partners.
Made possible by a $30 million award from NSF, Stampede2 is the newest strategic resource for the nation’s academic community and will enable thousands of researchers nationwide, from all disciplines, to answer questions that cannot be addressed through theory or experimentation alone and that require high-performance computing power.
In addition to its massive scale, Stampede2 will be among the first systems to employ cutting-edge computer processor, memory, networking and storage technology from its industry partners. Phase 1 of the system, which is currently complete, ranked as the 12th most powerful supercomputer in the world on the June Top500 list and contains 4,200 Intel® Xeon Phi™ processor-based nodes and Intel® Omni-Path Architecture. These 68-core massively-parallel processors include a new form of memory that improves the speed at which the processors can compute.
“Stampede2 represents a new horizon for academic researchers in the U.S.,” said Dan Stanzione, TACC’s executive director and a Clemson University graduate. “It will serve many thousands of our nation’s scientists and engineers, allowing them to improve our competitiveness and ensure that UT Austin remains a leader in computational research for the national open science community.”
Later this summer, Phase 2 will add 1,736 Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor-based nodes, Intel’s biggest data center platform advancement in a decade, giving it a peak performance of 18 petaflops, or 18 quadrillion mathematical operations per second. In addition, Stampede 2 will later add Intel persistent memory, based on 3D XPoint™ media. This entirely new class of nonvolatile memory can help turn immense amounts of data into valuable information in real time.
Stampede2’s powerful and diverse architecture is well-tuned to support computational scientists and engineers who use a wide range of applications, from researchers who conduct large-scale simulations and data analyses using thousands of processors simultaneously to those who perform smaller computations or who interact with Stampede2 through web-based community platforms like CyVerse, which serves the life sciences community and DesignSafe, which serves the natural hazard engineering community.
Stampede2 comes online at a time when the use of NSF-supported research cyberinfrastructure resources is at an all-time high across all science and engineering disciplines. Since 2005, the number of active institutions using research cyberinfrastructure has doubled, the number of principal investigators has tripled, and the number of active users has quintupled.