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It's In The Hopper: 4,000 Scientific Users Now Working With Supercomputer

June 3, 2011 - 4:36pm


The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) in Berkeley, California, marked a major milestone when they recently put their supercomputer, “Hopper,” into the hands of its 4,000 scientific users.

The flagship Cray XE6 system, called “Hopper” in honor of American computer scientist Grace Murray Hopper, is currently the second most powerful supercomputer in the United States, according to the TOP500 list.

To give some context to how powerful and fast this computer is -- if every person alive simultaneously multiplied one pair of numbers, it would take almost 170,000 planet Earths calculating at the same time to match what Hopper could do in one second.

“We are very excited to make this unique petascale capability available to our users, who are working on some of the most important problems facing the scientific community and the world.” said Kathy Yelick, NERSC Director.

Before this milestone, several pioneering users put the machine through its paces while making scientific discoveries in a broad set of areas, from fundamental science to clean energy alternatives and severe storm modeling.

Read about some of these research projects on the NERSC site.

Linda Vu is a writer with the Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences Communications Group.