On June 20, 2000, the newly expanded IBM RS/6000 SP supercomputer, Eagle, and the recently acquired Compaq AlphaServer SC system, Falcon, were dedicated in a ceremony that included remarks by Under Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, and ORNL Director Bill Madia. After a virtual ribbon cutting, several applications were launched on the new machines. ORNL boasts 1.5 teraflops computing speed, making it the most powerful unclassified computing facility in the nation. Together, the machines provide DOE researchers with computing power more than 10 times greater than was offered by the Intel Paragon XP/S 150, which in 1995 was the fastest computer in the world.
Touring the computer room
Welcome and greetings
"These new supercomputers allow researchers to solve problems in a virtual environment in areas that span the globe -- from transportation to medicine to materials," said Thomas Zacharia, Director of the Computer Science and Mathematics Division. "The IBM and Compaq machines are allowing us to tackle problems that couldn't be solved before."
Jesse Lipcon, Vice President of Alpha Technology for Compaq: "...it's extremely important for Compaq to place its computers at the national labs. The advances in computational science enabled by this system and our partnership with ORNL will lead to improved products and services that positively impact people's lives every day."
David McQueeney, Vice President of IBM Research: "They're much more than customers to us, ...they tend to have the best scientists, and they have tremendous insights into the computational science. So the labs, especially Oak Ridge, are outstanding reservoirs of scientific talent, and we certainly like to have those guys using the machines to define new applications."
Supercomputing at ORNL
UT-Battelle President Bill Madia: ORNL has established expertise and ongoing research in developing new materials, studying global climate change and the effects of pollution, mapping human chromosomes and safety testing automobiles of the future in virtual reality. ``As we move those important national objectives forward, high performance computing is essential.''
``Get science out of this important development,'' Dr. Ernest Moniz, DOE's Undersecretary for Research and Development, urged ORNL researchers. ORNL's new computers represent "a genuine tool of discovery, not just the extension of a few more cycles on a machine."
Virtual ribbon cutting, video, presentation
With one click on a notebook computer for a virtual ribbon cutting, Moniz launched several applications on the new systems. As the applications started, the crowd was treated to a short video containing time-lapse footage of the installation of the computers (installation photos: Eagle, Falcon) and highlights from some of the applications. Then Madia presented Moniz with a plaque commemorating the occasion. The plaque has a CD which contains the code and data from the first science application to achieve terascale performance (a materials application developed at ORNL).
A celebratory crowd
6/26/2000 Labs' work is super for them, computer makers say News-Sentinel 6/23/2000 ORNL joins computing elite, surpasses 1 teraflop HPCwire 6/21/2000 New super-fast supercomputers at ORNL Oak Ridger Oak Ridge researchers tout new supercomputer Associated Press 6/20/2000 ORNL supercomputer logs performance milestone News-Sentinel ORNL joins computing elite, surpasses 1 teraflop EurekAlert! Segments on dedication of new supercomputers Local TV channels: 6,8,10