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HP supercomputers get a lift

Hewlett-Packard has made two advancements in its supercomputing program, setting a date for a Science Grid link-up and selling a large system to NASA. In August, the company will hook up a Linux system at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to the Department of Energy's Science Grid, one of a host of "grid" projects bubbling out of academia to pool computing power into a shared resource; the PNNL system will boost that grid with more than 1,400 Itanium 2 processors.

NASA, meanwhile, bought an HP AlphaServer with more than 500 processors for researching global climate and environmental issues. The system will be expanded with more than 800 more Alpha processors this fall, HP said. Columbia University also installed a 32-processor AlphaServer.