| National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois

About Blue Waters

Blue Waters is one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, and is the fastest supercomputer on a university campus. Scientists and engineers across the country use the computing and data power of Blue Waters to tackle a wide range of challenging problems, from predicting the behavior of complex biological systems to simulating the evolution of the cosmos. Read more about the teams using Blue Waters.

Blue Waters, built from the latest technologies from Cray, Inc., uses hundreds of thousands of computational cores to achieve peak performance of more than 13 quadrillion calculations per second. If you could multiply two numbers together every second, it would take you millions of years to do what Blue Waters does each second. Blue Waters also has:

  • more than 1.5 petabytes of memory, enough to store 300 million images from your digital camera;
  • more than 25 petabytes of disk storage, enough to store all of the printed documents in all of the world’s libraries; and
  • up to 500 petabytes of tape storage, enough to store 10 percent of all of the words spoken in the existence of humankind.

Blue Waters is supported by the National Science Foundation and the University of Illinois.

For more information, including details about applying to use Blue Waters, how it is being used, and scientific results achieved by using the supercomputer, visit the Blue Waters website.

Photos of Blue Waters are available for download and video is available on NCSA's YouTube channel. If you would like to visit Blue Waters and learn more about NCSA, request a tour.


National Science Foundation

Blue Waters is supported by the National Science Foundation through awards ACI-0725070 and ACI-1238993.