PSC Machine Room


For over a decade the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) has managed the nation's most productive high performance computing facility. During it's history the center has served over 11,000 scientists and engineers from more than 3,000 institutions, providing the fastest computers coupled with extremly high performance networking, robust archival and storage systems and a dedicated staff. PSC focuses on Capability Computing to enable government, industry and academia to address their most challenging computer intensive problems.

1. PSC Computing BIG, FAST and EARLY

PSC's mission is to provide the premier high performance computing tools to the nation's research and engineering community at to the earliest possible time. We do this by acquiring the largest, most capable high performance systems early in their lifecycle, and managing those systems for maximum productivity.

Our current computing environment includes:

. Cray T3E (Jaromir) with 512 processors, each unit having 16 Mwords of memory. This was the first T3E installed anywhere in the world.

A 256 processor upgrade in March 1997 brought the system to 512 processors, 256 capable of 600 Mflops and 256 capable of 900 Mflops making it the world's fastest T3E.(Rubicon)

. Cray T3D has 512 150 Mflops processors each with 8 Mwords of memory.

This was the first T3D installed anywhere in the world.

. Cray C916/512 (Mario) with 16 processors, each capable of 1.0 Gflops. A total of 512 Mwords of system memory and a 512 Mword SSD.

This system was the first of its kind installed outside of a government lab.

. Three Cray J90 systems, two with 8 processors (Clove & Ginger) and one with 10 processors, (Golem) each processor capable of 200 Mflops and each system having 128 Mwords of memory.

. Workstations of various capability, configured in clusters and for standalone use, from Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems and Digital Equipment Corporation.

Our current storage systems include:

. 590 Gigabytes of rotating mass storage.

. 2 STK silos each with 8 STK drives.

. IBM 3494 Tape Library with 8 IBM 3590 drives.

2. Ties to the nation's academic community

Leading researchers throughout the nation have used PSC systems to advance the state of knowledge in their disciplines. The center has strong relationships with all major research institutions. Because of these relationships PSC can pull together talent from across the nation to address challenges that require multidisciplinary collaboration.

Work done at PSC has lead to the publication of over 3,000 scientific papers, cost and productivity improvements for industry and numerous awards. Following are recent awards to researchers using PSC facilities:

Computerworld-Smithsonian Awards 1996: 4 of 5 finalists in science used PSC, including the winner. Center for Light Microscope Imaging and Biotechnology

Sidney Fernbach Awards 1994: Charles Peskin, NYU (Heart) 1995: Paul Woodward, University of Minnesota (Solar Turbulence) 1996: Gary Glatzmaier (First 3D Geomagnetic Model)

Science cover story (9/8/95) Juri Toomre, University of Colorado (Solar Convection)

Nature cover story (9/21/95) Gary Glatzmaier, Los Alamos & Paul Roberts, UCLA

3. History

June 9,1986: With its Cray X-MP/48 installed and running, PSC officially opens to researchers.

May 1987: ALCOA becomes PSC's first corporate partner.

September 1987: NIH awards PSC a three-year, $2.2 million dollar grant to support supercomputing in biomedical research. PSC is the first supercomputing center to receive an NIH grant for this purpose.

November 1989: PSC user Gregory McRae wins the first Forefronts of Large-Scale Computation award for his computational modeling of large atmospheric systems.

January 1990: The first Cray Y-MP/832 available outside a government research laboratory is installed at PSC.

April 1990: The Connection Machine CM-2, PSC's first massively parallel system is installed.

August 1990: PSC receives a five-year $6.1 million dollar grant from NIH to renew its program of support for supercomputing in biomedical research.

December 1990: PSC introduces the Andrew File System for use in high- performance computing.

February 1991: For the first time anywhere, PSC implements direct high- speed data transfer between heterogeneous supercomputing systems, the Y-MP and CM-2, demonstarting "superlinear" speedup on significant scientific applications.

November 1991: University of Pittsburgh biologist John Rosenberg and three colleagues win the 1991 Forefronts of Large-Scale Computation award for their work at PSC on how proteins recognize and bind with DNA.

January 1992: The Connection Machine CM-5 is installed.

June 1992: Westinghouse wins the 1992 Computerworld-Smithsonian Award in science for its work with PSC.

October 1992: PSC is the first non-government site in the United States to receive a Cray Y-MP C90.

December 1992: PSC receives "Grand Challenge" research funding to collaborate with the Center for Light Microscope Imaging and Biotechnology on developing an Automated Interactive Microscope.

June 1993: PSC wins the 1993 Computerworld-Smithsonian Award for Science.

June 1993: PSC, the University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Public Schools receive $2 million dollars from NSF for Common Knowledge: Pittsburgh, a national pilot program to integrate computer networking into the K-12 educational curriculum of a large urban public school system.

September 1993: PSC unveils the first Cray T3D system.

October 1993: PSC receives "Grand Challenge" funding to collaborate with scientists around the country on astrophysics research.

January 1994: The 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded to PSC user Joseph H. Taylor for his 1974 discovery of the first binary pulsar. In research at PSC, Taylor has discovered more than 20 pulsars in three years.

June 1994: The 1994 Computerworld-Smithsonian Award for breakthrough Computational Science is awarded to PSC users Charles Peskin and David McQueen for their development of a three-dimensional computational model of blood flow in the heart.

November 1994: PSC user Charles Peskin wins the 1994 Sidney Fernbach award for his modeling of blood flow in the heart.

September 1995: NIH awards $6 million dollars to PSC to continue PSC's program of research andsupport for biomedical research.

November 1995: PSC user Paul Woodward receives the 1995 Sidney Fernbach award for his investigations of turbulant convection in the sun.

April 1996: The world's first Cray T3E system is installed at PSC and begins running parallel applications.

May 1996: Four of five finalists for the 1996 Computerworld-Smithsonian Award in science are collaborations with PSC, with the award going to the Center for Light Microscope Imaging and Biotechnology.

August 1996: PSC accepts the first production model of the Cray T3E scaleable parellel supercomputing system.

April 1997: PSC adds 256 high performance processors to the Cray T3E, and the performance of the resulting 512 processor system exceeds that of any other currently installed Cray.

Below are links to pictures of the machines from both cameras. To see more send me some mail and set up a time for the cameras to be moved for different views.

CRAY C90

CRAY T3D

CRAY T3E

CRAY J90

STK Silo





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Created: Thu June 12, 1997 03:00:00 EDT

Last modified: Wed March 01, 2000 12:12:00 EDT

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