Canadian Consulting Engineer

Supercomputer buzzes at over 350 billion calculations per second

A powerful supercomputer -- the most powerful in Canada - was inaugurated at McGill University on November 18. The...

November 22, 2002   Canadian Consulting Engineer

A powerful supercomputer — the most powerful in Canada – was inaugurated at McGill University on November 18. The computer will be used by a consortium of scientists from four universities — Laval, UQAM, McGill and Eastern Quebec — for research in a variety of fields including engineering. The consortium is known as “CLUMEQ.”
The supercomputer consists of two independent parallel systems, a 64-processor Silicon Graphics machine with a shared memory of 128 Gigabytes, and a 256-processor cluster with a distributed memory of 384 Gigabytes. Both have high-speed Raid disc subsystems and an automated tape library.
The CLUMEQ machine can do 357 billion additions, subtractions, multiplications and divisions per second at a sustained level, and is ranked in the first tier of the Top 500 computers worldwide.
The computer, which will reside at McGill was shown to be the fastest at a recent national challenge. The Canadian Inter-Networked Scientific Supercomputer national challenged grouped Canada’s major high performance computing sites in a grid-like fashion to attempt to solve a problem in only 24 hours that would normally a personal computer 3.5 years to solve. Out of 6,489 units of required computing, the CLUMEQ machine executed 2,031 units on 250 processors, while the remaining 1,050 processors from all other computers aggregately solved the rest.
The CLUMEQ alliance was formed in 2000 under Dr. Wagdi G. Habashi, a McGill Mechanical Engineering Professor and authority in Computational Fluid Dynamics. Ron Haber is CLUMEQ’s General Manager. Allegra Solutions designed the computer’s architecture and operating system and carried out the tests.


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