There's a reason why Ohio Supercomputer Center's
new $4.1 million, HP Intel Xeon, processor based system has been dubbed the Oakley Cluster. Like the legendary Ohio-born sharpshooter and social advocate Annie Oakley, it's fast as hell, doesn't miss a shot and is improving the lives of Ohioans.
Just ask Ashok Krishnamurthy, Executive Director of the OSC, a facility that is funded by the Ohio Board of Regents
and has been in existence since 1987. "We have more than 2,000 academic users across the state, and they're discovering new materials and developing advanced energy applications," he says. "To be competitive, we must provide the highest performance system, and this represents a new level of capability."
OSC's new supercomputer can achieve 88 teraflops, which is tech speak for 88 trillion calculations per second. Yes, in case you're wondering, that's lightning fast.
OSC's new system will help to achieve its mission of assisting academic and business users. Large companies such as Proctor and Gamble and Rolls Royce use OSC as a "second level system when they have needs beyond what their systems can support," says Krishnamurthy. OSC helps small and midsize companies develop and test prototypes virtually rather than investing in actual models, while academics use the system to complete their cutting-edge research.
"We give them access to software and expertise," says Krishnamurthy. "Once they understand the value of what this can do, it changes how they do business."
As one example, Krishnamurthy cites an Ohio company that is developing an LED projector small enough to fit inside a phone. How do they convince various manufacturers that their device can handle the projector's heat without testing every single one? That's where OSC's computer modeling comes in.
"You can simulate how the heat is dissipated," he says. "It's an easy, low-cost way to show potential customers how your design can be incorporated into their products."
OSC has also helped to develop courses for students at community colleges and four-year colleges and universities, as well as professionals who are seeking continuing education. "OSC is in a fairly unique position," says Krishnamurthy. "It is the most consistently state-funded center of its kind in the country."
Source: Ashok Krishnamurthy
Writer: Lee Chilcote