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CNET News: Lab to Sample Linux for Weapons Work

Sep 24, 2002, 19:00 (16 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stephen Shankland)


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"Los Alamos National Laboratory is buying a $6 million, 2,048-processor Linux supercomputer to run its nuclear weapons simulation software, an effort that will test the limits of these less expensive megamachines.

"The lab has been a pioneer in building inexpensive supercomputers made out of ordinary computing components and the Linux operating system. Thus far, however, LANL's nuclear weapons simulation software runs on more expensive systems from SGI and Hewlett-Packard such as HP's $215 million 'Q' now under construction.

"A $6 million price tag may sound like a bargain in comparison, but software must be reworked to run using less expensive clusters of Linux machines. Though the new system will run unclassified programs such as predicting the properties of new materials, those tests will serve as a proxy to predict how well nuclear weapons simulation software works, said lab spokesman Jim Danneskiold..."

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