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eWeek: Supercomputers for the Masses?

Jun 10, 2003, 13:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Taschek)

"HPCCs look completely different from traditional supercomputers: They are fan-cooled, not water-cooled, and they sit in racks and use off-the-shelf components. And while the inventor of supercomputersâ€"Cray Research Inc.â€"may have cranked out only two or three computers a year a decade ago, companies including Dell Computer Corp., Red Hat Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are now building hundreds of postmodern supercomputers at a time.

"The changes in supercomputing can be seen most clearly in academia, where the New Age supercomputers are commonly used.

"eWEEK Labs recently visited Stanford University, in Stanford, Calif., which was setting up a 300-node cluster comprising Dell systems running Red Hat Linux. The goal is to use the cluster at Stanford's Bio-Xâ€"a massive, state-of-the-art facility funded predominantly by Jim Clark of Silicon Graphics Inc. fame. The role of Bio-X is to bring together the different sciencesâ€"including engineering, physics, medicine and biologyâ€"so researchers can better share resources, planning and data..."

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