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Purdue supercomputer upgraded, now more versatile

While many Boilermaker fans spent the morning of Dec. 31 gearing up for the Sun Bowl, staff from IBM and the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology were busy installing equipment to upgrade the Purdue IBM SP supercomputer.

Now with 320 processors rather than its former 272, and more memory and disk space, the system's computing power has increased significantly and so has its functionality.

When they are fully configured in early February, the new processors will have access to 64 gigabytes of memory.

"That's more than 14 times the amount available prior to the upgrade and 500 times the amount found on a typical personal computer," says Bill Whitson, interim associate vice president for research computing services in the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology. "This will allow the system to do work not possible prior to the upgrade."

Whitson says the upgrade will help maintain the Purdue system's high ranking on the list of the top 500 supercomputers worldwide. When the last ranking was done in November 2001, it ranked 115.

Researchers interested in learning more about the upgrade and how they can use the supercomputer's new capabilities in their work should attend the Jan. 31 Research Computing User Group meeting (see story this page) or contact Bill Whitson at 49-68227 or at

Reprinted from Inside Purdue