Press Archive

TeraGrid Partners to Unveil Prototype TeraGrid System at SC2001 in Denver

Published 11/08/2001

The four recipients of the recently announced TeraGrid award from the National Science Foundation will demonstrate a variety of applications on a small-scale prototype distributed system deployed on the exhibition floor at SC2001 in Denver, November 12-15. Applications that are poised to take advantage of the computational capability that the TeraGrid will provide-from those that examine collisions of black holes to a method of studying species distribution-will be featured.

The research exhibits for the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI, booth R206), the National Computational Science Alliance (Alliance, booth R216), Argonne National Laboratory (booth R352), and the Center for Advanced Computing Research (CACR) at the California Institute of Technology (booth R340) will showcase applications running on Linux clusters with Intel IA-64 processors, a multi-terabyte storage-area network, and high-end visualization systems spread among the four booths. The NPACI and Alliance booths will be connected by a 20-gigabit-per-second network, and each partner exhibit will have a one-gigabit connection to SCinet, the SC2001 network.

TeraGrid demonstrations are scheduled for Monday from 7-8 p.m., Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Wednesday from noon-4 p.m. in each of the partner site exhibits. Please visit the partner exhibits for further scheduling details.

Among the applications to be featured are:

In the NPACI exhibit (R206), the WhyWhere application, created by David Stockwell at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, will combine a massive database of environmental and satellite data, efficient image-processing algorithms and grid-based cluster computing into a search and mapping system for globally predicting and explaining biodiversity data. The application allows biodiversity researchers studying a species to answer the question "Where is it and why?"

A simulation running the NAMD molecular dynamics code, developed by the Theoretical Biophysics Group at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will originate from Alliance booth (R216). The demo involves atomic level simulations that examine how the protein MscL (for mechanosensitive channel of large conductance) responds to pressure changes. Understanding the behavior of MscL could provide insight into the biomolecular causes of our sense of touch. The simulation will use Linux clusters in all four TeraGrid partner booths and will display results on a high-resolution tiled display wall in the Alliance booth.

In the CACR exhibit (R340), the prototype TeraGrid will run a demonstration of the integrated virtual shock physics test facility (VTF) application being developed at the Center for Simulation of Dynamic Response of Materials, the ASCI Alliance Center at Caltech. The VTF is designed to compute the 3-D dynamic response of variety of materials impacted by strong shock and detonation waves. NAG's IRIS Explorer and the Center's problem solving environment, Pyre, will process and display output generated by the coupled 3-D parallel Eulerian fluid solver and 3-D Lagrangian solid solver.

In the Argonne (R352) and Alliance (R216) exhibits, an international team of researchers will demonstrate a numerical solution of Einstein's general relativistic field equations, in this case for the collision of two black holes. The application, which uses the generic Cactus framework, is representative of many large-scale problems in physics that require enormous computing resources. The quality and fidelity of the numerical solution is bounded by the available memory and compute power of the computational resources. Additional participants in this demonstration include the Max Planck Institute, Northern Illinois University, and the Globus project.

The prototype TeraGrid system and network is being made possible with the support of many corporate sponsors including Cisco, ESnet, Hewlett-Packard, Juniper, LuxN, Nortel Networks, SCinet, Spirent, and Sun Microsystems. The TeraGrid is being deployed in partnership with IBM, Intel, and Qwest Communications. Other corporate partners include Myricom, Sun, and Oracle Corporation.

About the TeraGrid

TeraGrid is a multi-year effort to build and deploy the world's largest, fastest, most comprehensive, distributed infrastructure for open scientific research. When completed, the TeraGrid will include 13.6 teraflops of Linux cluster computing power distributed at the four TeraGrid sites, facilities capable of managing and storing more than 450 terabytes of data, high-resolution visualization environments, and toolkits for grid computing. These components will be tightly integrated and connected through a network that will initially operate at 40 gigabits per second.

The $53 million TeraGrid project is funded by the National Science Foundation and includes four partners: the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego; Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, IL; and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena. Primary corporate partners are IBM, Intel Corporation, and Qwest Communications. Other partners are Myricom, Sun Microsystems, and Oracle Corporation.

NCSA leads the National Computational Science Alliance (Alliance), and Argonne is a key Alliance partner. SDSC leads the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI), and Caltech is a key NPACI partner. The Alliance and NPACI support the success of the TeraGrid through their partners and infrastructure-building activities.


Sarah Emery Bunn, Caltech,, 626-437-2972

Karen Green, NCSA,, 217-265-0748

David Hart, SDSC,, 858-534-8314

Mary Spada, Argonne,, 630-240,2759