Tech Industry

Supercomputer center forms in Buffalo

The State University of New York at Buffalo is setting itself up to become a world-class supercomputing institution.

The State University of New York at Buffalo is setting itself up to become a world-class supercomputing institution.

The university (UB) said today it has established a computer research facility that will transform "the university from a campus without a supercomputer into one of the top 10 academic supercomputing sites in the U.S."

The center has more than $7 million in computer equipment, with major funding made possible by gifts of $1.2 million in computer equipment each from IBM and Silicon Graphics. The center is also getting $1 million in funding from the State University of New York, a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and a gift of $300,000 in computer equipment from Sun Microsystems, the university said.

UB is making an initial investment of about $1.5 million to create the center.

IBM is supplying a 58-processor IBM RS/6000 SP computer, a next-generation version of the Deep Blue supercomputer. The center also employs a 64-processor Silicon Graphics Origin2000 server.

"The center will accelerate the research of UB scientists and engineers conducting research in fields ranging from pharmaceutical drug design and molecular biology to volcanology, atmospheric science and automotive and aerospace design," UB said in a statement.

Universities are at a critical stage similar to the one they were in after World War II when major colleges were positioning themselves to take a leadership role in research, according to Larry Smarr director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"The new UB center greatly empowers local researchers in that they have smaller versions of these large machines close to them," Smarr said.