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TeraGrid is the name of the soon to be world's (second) largest computing cluster that will be completed in 2002. It will contain approximately 3,300 Itanium(TM) and McKinley (Intel's next generation Itanium) processors on IBM servers running Linux connected through a Qwest fiber-optic network. Once completed the TeraGrid will be capable of a massive 13.6 20! teraflops and will have access to 450-600 terabytes nearly a petabyte of data.

This is a huge step in acceptance of the Itanium processor into the server market. Intel is fueling the program by providing optimized compilers and software as well as various customized tools.

It was initially funded by the National Science Foundation through a $53million grant later expanded by the ETF award from the NSF by an additional $35million grant. Various researchers will have access to the system to perform a variety of simulations. Possible uses include :

  • Molecular modeling for disease detection
  • Drug discovery
  • Automobile crash simulations
  • Climate and atmospheric simulations

The TeraGrid will be unique because it will link together various computing clusters at five different locations rather than host them all at the same location. Globus is providing open-source protocols that will determine how the grids will communicate with each other. These open-source protocols will create a "plug-n-play" type effect where more machines could easily be added to the network.

The largest section of the TeraGrid will be hosted at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. There will also be portions of the TeraGrid at the University of California San Diego, Argonne National Laboratory, and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

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