BATON ROUGE- This week, LSU’s High Performance Computing, or HPC, will debut the campus’ newest supercomputing cluster, Philip. This high-speed cluster gives the campus access to a large-memory scientific computing resource, allowing faculty and staff to conduct research in ways not possible on LSU’s existing high-performance computing systems.

Philip is a high-performance computing cluster that will support research requiring high-performance processing and very large memory resources.  The new system allows researchers to take advantage of shared memory programming techniques, and gives researchers the means to experiment with and take advantage of new computing models.

Philip is named for one of the University’s first Boyd Professors, chemistry Professor Philip W. West. The Boyd Professorship is LSU’s highest and most prestigious academic rank.

Through the HPC group, which is a joint operation between the LSU Center for Computation & Technology, or CCT, and LSU Information Technology Services, or ITS, the campus has used high-performance computing clusters to run simulations and conduct research in a variety of areas, including numerical relativity, computational fluid dynamics, chemistry, astrophysics and engineering since 2002. 

In recent years, fields such as biology, materials science and mathematics also have started using high-performance computing to enable advanced research and collaborate using the high-speed networking available on campus. Many of these non-traditional computational science fields require large memory systems and storage for massive amounts of data. The University acquired Philip specifically to help address these growing needs. The CCT purchased Philip for $215,000 in May, and the HPC group will add this cluster to the pool of computing resources available on campus.

Philip is a 37-node cluster with 3.5 Teraflops Peak Performance of computing power, providing more memory per core than is available on previous LSU computing clusters. Each node contains two of the latest Intel Quad Core Nehalem Xeon 64-bit processors, making Philip capable of operating at higher core processing speeds than the University’s current high-performance computing systems.

HPC will make Philip, located in the Fred C. Frey Computing Services Center, available to campus researchers starting this week. Any faculty members, research staff or students directly supervised by a faculty member are welcome to contact HPC and make arrangements for research time on Philip.

“LSU has long understood the potential to advance breakthroughs in many disciplines using high-performance computing technology, and we continually try to acquire and use the most effective equipment to maintain our edge in this area,” said Honggao Liu, Ph.D., LSU’s HPC Director. “Philip provides University researchers with access to some of the most advanced computational tools, which will enable research that could not be achieved otherwise at LSU.”

Click here for more information on Philip. 


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