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Sandia National Lab: Antarctica, Sandia’s garage-built supercomputer, may become 20th fastest in world

“The latest version of Cplant Antarctica, the upwardly mobile
computer at Sandia, is expected by researchers to become the 20th
fastest in the world after integrating, by early fall, 1,300
off-the-shelf computers recently arrived from Compaq Computer
Corporation.”

“Formerly composed of only 600 Alpha workstations, the
“home-grown” Sandia computational cluster had already been ranked
44th among the world’s fastest supercomputers. It is also
already the largest “production” Linux cluster – a cluster that
produces technical results to aid ongoing science
projects.

“Another kind of revolution is going on,” says lead Cplant
software developer Rolf Riesen of Sandia. “A major government
laboratory like Sandia is willing to spend $9.6 million plus a
significant amount of in-house development to make a supercomputer
out of a supply of off-the-shelf parts.”

“The new Cplant will include 1,600 Compaq Alpha computers, also
called nodes. (Three hundred older nodes will be used for other
purposes.) The additional units are expected to be up and running
early this fall.”

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