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LSU Introduces "Philip" -- A New Supercomputing Cluster


High Performance Computing at Louisiana State University has debuted the its newest supercomputing cluster, called Philip.

Philip is a high-performance computing cluster that will support research requiring high-performance processing and very large memory resources. The new system allows researchers to take advantage of shared memory programming techniques, and gives researchers the means to experiment with and take advantage of new computing models.

Philip is a 37-node cluster with 3.5 Teraflops Peak Performance of computing power running the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 operating system. Each node contains two of the latest Intel Quad Core Nehalem Xeon 64-bit processors, making Philip capable of operating at higher core processing speeds than the University's established high-performance computing systems.

In recent years, fields such as biology, materials science, and mathematics also have started using high-performance computing to enable advanced research and collaborate using the high-speed networking available at LSU. Many of these nontraditional computational science fields require large memory systems and storage for massive amounts of data. The University acquired Philip specifically to help address these growing needs. The CCT purchased Philip for $215,000 in May.

Philip is named for one of the University's first Boyd Professors, chemistry Professor Philip W. West (the Boyd Professorship is LSU's highest and most prestigious academic rank).

Through the HPC group, which is a joint operation between the LSU Center for Computation & Technology and LSU Information Technology Services, the campus has used high-performance computing clusters to run simulations and conduct research in a variety of areas, including numerical relativity, computational fluid dynamics, chemistry, astrophysics, and engineering since 2002.

"LSU has long understood the potential to advance breakthroughs in many disciplines using high-performance computing technology, and we continually try to acquire and use the most effective equipment to maintain our edge in this area," said Honggao Liu, Ph.D., LSU's HPC Director." Philip provides University researchers with access to some of the most advanced computational tools, which will enable research that could not be achieved otherwise at LSU."


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