Advancing Science and Society at the Texas Advanced Computing Center

Our customers use Dell technologies to accomplish amazing results and enable human potential.

This is especially true for our high-performance computing (HPC) customers, who are continually breaking new ground and solving the biggest, most important challenges of today and tomorrow.

On June 2, we had the pleasure of helping one of our customers and partners, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the University of Texas at Austin (UT), celebrate three significant milestones – a $30 million award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the 15th anniversary of TACC, and the dedication of a new building for advanced computing at their JJ Pickle Research Campus.

With the award from NSF, TACC will deploy a new large scale supercomputing system, Stampede 2, as a strategic national resource to provide high-performance computing capabilities for thousands of researchers across the U.S. This Dell HPC System, based on Dell PowerEdge servers, equipped with Intel Xeon Phi processors, pushes the envelope of computational capabilities, enabling breakthroughs never before imagined. It is currently the largest cluster accessible as part of Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE).

The NSF award will enable the new Stampede 2 system to deliver peak performance of up to 18 Petaflops, twice the performance of the current system. This funding will take Stampede 2 to the next level by deploying, in phases, a variety of new and future technologies, including new Dell PowerEdge servers supporting the upcoming Intel® Xeon Phi™ Processors, codenamed “Knights Landing,” and future-generation Intel® Xeon® processors. TACC has already implemented “Knights Landing” processors in its Stampede 1.5 system to drive unprecedented performance results.

This NSF renewal builds on technology and expertise from the original Stampede system, first funded in 2011. Since its inception, Stampede has ranked in the top 10 most powerful supercomputers in the world, and it is currently ranked No. 10 according to the November 2015 Top500 rankings.

Stampede 2 will do more than just meet growing demand from those who run data-intensive research. Imagine the discoveries that will be made as a result of this award and the new system. Now more than ever is an exciting time to be in HPC. If you want to learn more about Stampede, I encourage you to take this virtual tour:

As highlighted earlier, this exciting news was unveiled during an event recognizing TACC’s 15th anniversary and dedicating a new building in Austin, Texas. The new building will accommodate TACC’s growth with more than 60 new offices, a large auditorium, a training space, a production room and the 1,500-foot visualization lab. I was honored to represent Dell and be part of the dedication ceremony that included Bill McRaven, Chancellor of The University of Texas System; Irene Qualters, NSF Division Director for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure; Charlie Wuischpard, Vice President and General Manager, HPC Platform Group, Intel; and TACC Executive Director Dan Stanzione, who is also the lead of the Stampede project.

TACC is not only a Dell customer, but also a great partner, so their accomplishments are even more meaningful. We have worked together closely for many years through our joint HPC Center of Excellence, and TACC has played a key role in how we have evolved our own HPC efforts and innovations. By working with TACC on emerging technologies, we have been able to learn and improve upon our core portfolio of HPC solutions. This partnership has been key in helping Dell to democratize HPC and extend its capabilities and opportunities to mainstream organizations world wide.

It’s always rewarding to celebrate success – especially when it’s great news for our partners and customers like TACC. But there remains more work to do, and we keep pushing forward. You can bet we will do just that, continuing to innovate and advance HPC innovations for today and tomorrow.

About the Author: Jim Ganthier

Jim Ganthier is a global technology executive with over 20 years of experience delivering business results in multinational technology, products and solutions companies.