Purdue researchers will have nation's fastest campus supercomputer—again

June 17, 2013

The next Community Cluster Program supercomputer, which ITaP is readying for use by faculty later this year, already has tested as the most powerful system for use by researchers on a single university campus in the country and as one of the top supercomputers in the world.

The Conte cluster, developed in a collaboration with HP, Intel and Mellanox, is the highest-ranking campus supercomputer on the June 2013 Top500.org list of international supercomputers. Overall, Conte ranks 28th on the list, which includes supercomputers owned by governments, corporations, national and international research centers, and universities.

Purdue's latest supercomputer surpasses the nation's previous fastest university-owned leading machine, the Carter cluster, which ITaP built in 2011.

"We don't do this only to be at the top of a list, although it's nice to have an external measure of our success in delivering the most effective computational tools to our researchers" says Gerry McCartney, vice president for information technology, chief information officer and Olga Oesterle England Professor of Information Technology. "The reason we do this is because our faculty researchers have a constantly growing need for more and faster computational resources."

In testing, Conte clocked in with a sustained, measured maximum speed of 943.38 teraflops and a peak performance of 1.342 petaflops.

Conte was built with 580 HP ProLiant SL250 Generation 8 (Gen8) servers, each incorporating two Intel Xeon processors and two Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors, integrated with Mellanox 56Gb/S FDR InfiniBand. The cluster's 580 nodes include a total of 77,520 processing cores, by far the most in any Purdue research supercomputer yet.

Purdue names each of its supercomputers after a faculty member, staff member, or alumnus who made a significant contribution to computing at the University. Conte is named for Samuel Conte, who helped establish the nation's first computer science program at Purdue in 1962 and served as department head for 17 years.

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Originally posted: June 17, 2013