29 November 2005 -- The 'Jaguar' is one of the fastest computers in the world. But Indian-American Thomas Zacharia has more ambitious plans.
Zacharia, who heads the computer division at ORNL has plans to run it even faster than it already is. He is expecting to quadruple Jaguar's speed from 25 teraflops to 100 teraflops, or 100 trillion calculations per second by 2006.
As part of that plan Zacharia plans to expand the supercomputer from its current configuration of 56 cabinets to about 120 cabinets and double the number of processors.
The speed will be a challenge, but he thinks scientists at ORNL will get close to it.
Jaguar is a Cray XT-3 which was installed last year at ORNL and is currently ranked as the 10th fastest computer in the world and the fastest U.S. machine available for open nonmilitary research.
Supported by DOE's Office of Science, Zacharia is taking an important step toward investigating computer architectures for scientific discovery, even as ORNL deploys the system to test its effectiveness in solving important scientific problems in climate, biology, nanoscale materials, fusion and astrophysics.
Despite all the hype about a supercomputer's peak speed, Zacharia says that's a relatively meaningless statistic. It's the science that matters, he said, and in order to do good research a computer's sustained performance is what's important.
Francis C. Assisi will be on vacation during December.