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Blue Waters supercomputer upgraded to 13 petaflops

NCSA’s Blue Waters supercomputer is being upgraded with 12 additional Cray XK racks, each with 96 nodes. This boosts the system’s peak performance to over 13 petaflops.

During the past six months, NCSA has seen more and more science and engineering teams modifying their codes to take advantage of the considerable computational power of the GPU accelerators offered by the XK nodes.

“In the first few months that Blue Waters has been in operation, we’ve seen a rapid increase in the demand for the XK nodes from the science and engineering teams using the system,” says Bill Gropp, the chief applications architect for the Blue Waters project. “This upgrade will substantially increase the compute power available to the applications that are ready to use GPUs, and will therefore increase the productivity of the researchers who rely on Blue Waters.”

Cray and NCSA are working together to minimize the time the system is down for this upgrade. The installation and testing are planned to be complete in August when the system will return to full service.

For more information on Blue Waters and how it is used by scientists and engineers across the nation, visit

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