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Blue Waters “Early Science System” delivered to NCSA

The first cabinets of the new Blue Waters sustained-petascale supercomputer have arrived at the University of Illinois’ National Center for Supercomputing Applications and were powered up over the last few days. A total of 48 Cray XE6 cabinets were installed.

These cabinets represent about 15 percent of the final Blue Waters system. They will be operated as a limited access “Early Science System” while the rest of the Blue Waters supercomputer is built over the next several months.

In March, select scientific teams from around the country will begin using the Early Science System on research in a range of fields. In parallel, the Cray and NCSA team will use the Early Science System to prepare for the operation of the full Blue Waters supercomputer. The Early Science System will ultimately be integrated into that sustained-petaflop supercomputer, which NCSA expects to operate for five years.

Blue Waters is expected to be one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. Scientists will create breakthroughs in nearly all fields of science using Blue Waters. They will explain how viruses infect cells, understand how the cosmos evolved after the Big Bang, design new materials at the atomic and composite levels, predict the behavior of hurricanes and tornadoes, and simulate the impact of global climate change.

For a gallery of images from the installation of the Blue Waters Early Science System, see the NCSA Facebook page,

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