Acquisition of an Advanced Workstation Cluster for High Performance Computing in Physics

Grant Details




With support from the Major Research Instrumentation program, a parallel array of high performance workstations will be acquired. These will be used to improve the scientific computational capability in the Department of Physics at Central Michigan University. Eight SMP workstations comprising sixteen DEC Alpha 21264 processors will be linked using a fast system area network (SAN). Parallelization on the array will be accomplished using MPI, the Message Passing Interface. This cluster will provide a theoretical peak performance of about 32 GFLOPS at an estimated cost of $6/MFLOPS. The cluster will meet critical hardware needs of three very active research groups in physics at Central Michigan University. These groups conduct computationally intensive research in materials and cluster physics (2 groups) and in nuclear structure physics (1 group). A polymer fluid dynamics group, which includes faculty from the departments of chemistry, physics, and mathematics, will also benefit from the use of this new capability. At present these groups use a variety of individual workstations, of which only one has a performance approaching 1 GFLOPS. Thus, the new array will increase the available peak computing power by at least a factor of 30. Such a performance enhancement will permit these groups at CMU to attack exciting new research problems involving larger and more complex systems. The planned parallel array of high performance workstations will also afford important new training opportunities for undergraduate and M.S. students at CMU in the area of parallel computing.

A parallel array of high performance workstations will be acquired with support from the Major Research Instrumentation program. This array will provide increased computing power for both research projects and research training of M.S. level and undergraduate students, and thus will have a large impact on the infrastructure at CMU.

Effective start/end date09/1/9908/31/02


  • National Science Foundation: $132,720.00


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