Office for University Relations

Blue Waters: World's most powerful supercomputer

The Blue Waters Supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) is among the world’s most powerful supercomputer. The petascale system, which consists of 237 racks of Cray XE6 nodes, 32 racks of Cray XK7 nodes with NVIDIA® GK110 Kepler GPUs, and over 25 petabytes of usable online storage, is currently available to friendly users who are testing the Cray

Researchers from across the nation will tap Blue Waters’ unsurpassed power to continue a tradition of scientific discoveries grounded in research that originated on the Urbana-Champaign campus. Anew, $72.4 million state-of-the-art National Petascale Computing Facility houses Blue Waters and other infrastructure components that support the supercomputer. Blue Waters is supported by several National Science Foundation grants that exceed $300 million until 2016.

In November 2011, a contract was finalized with Cray Inc. to provide the supercomputer. The multi-year and multi-phrase contract is valued at more than $188 million.

A 300mm POWER7 processor wafer ready for testing at NCSA.Researchers from the Urbana campus and other institutions across the country will use the computer to tackle difficult problems in science and engineering. Blue Waters will have a peak performance of 10 petaflops or 10 quadrillion calculations each second.

More than 25 teams, from a dozen research fields, are preparing to achieve breakthroughs by using Blue Waters to model a broad range of phenomena, including: nanotechnology's minute molecular assemblies, the evolution of the universe since the Big Bang, the damage caused by earthquakes and the formation of tornadoes, the mechanism by which viruses enter cells and improved climate change predictions.

Established in 1986, NCSA is a leader in deploying high-performance computing resources and working with research communities nationwide to develop new software technologies. The center strives to prepare the next generation of scientists to use the latest computational tools and techniques.

For 25 years, NCSA has been a leader in deploying robust high-performance computing resources and in working with research communities to develop new computing and software technologies.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a recognized leader in teaching and scholarship and is known as an institution that creates knowledge and advances understanding.

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Blue Waters
NCSA
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign