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AMD strikes two cluster deal with Los Alamos

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AMD has secured another high performance computing win for the Opteron processor with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) signing up for a pair of Beowulf clusters.

The Lighting cluster will be the large of the two systems, packing in 2,800 Opteron chips in a design built by LinuxNetworx. The cluster will be used for nuclear weapon simulations. LANL expects the cluster to run at a peak of 11.2 teraFLOPS, placing it among the top supercomputers.

The smaller Orange cluster will run on 512 Opteron chips and be used for various projects such medical research and simulations of wild fires. The system will use Infiniband as a networking interconnect. You don't hear that Infiniband word too often these days.

LANL will, of course, be running 32bit apps on the Opteron systems at first. It will take the lab quite a while to build up trust for 64bit versions of Linux and to tune their code for the chip.

The deal builds on several high performance computing wins for AMD and Opteron, although the processor still has meager support from large server vendors. The enterprise push looks like a much greater challenge thus far. No surprises there. ®

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