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Press Release


Stony Brook and Brookhaven Lab Unveil New York Blue Supercomputer

Jun 15, 2007 - 11:29:43 AM

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UPTON, NY, June 15, 2007 — Stony Brook University and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory today unveiled one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. The IBM Blue Gene supercomputer, named New York Blue and located at Brookhaven Lab, is the world’s fastest supercomputer for general users and is expected to rank among the top ten fastest computers in the world.

Supported by a $26-million allocation from New York State, New York Blue is the centerpiece of the New York Center for Computational Sciences, a cooperative initiative between Stony Brook and Brookhaven that will foster research collaborations among research institutions, universities and companies throughout New York State.

“Last year, the Assembly’s Long Island delegation was able to secure this historic grant for the Stony Brook/BNL supercomputer,” said NY Assemblyman Marc S. Alessi. “New York Blue embodies the ingenuity and innovation of Long Island. Now that it is operational, I will fight for new ways for our region and all of New York State to fully utilize this resource, something I feel in the long run will propel Suffolk County to the forefront of groundbreaking research and enterprise. When business, education and government work together – the blue sky is the limit.”

“This is a great day for Long Island,” said NY Assemblyman Steve Englebright. “New York State's investment into this elegantly powerful supercomputer will reinforce our region's important place in international scientific research and advance both the academic and economic mission of the Stony Brook/BNL alliance.”

“This initiative proves that Long Island can be a leader in high-tech research and development,” said NY Assemblywoman Patricia Eddington. “New York Blue is a great example of what we can do when we work collaboratively.”

“I have long advocated for partnerships of education and business to advance new technologies and improve our economy,” said NY Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, chairman of New York State’s Higher Education Committee. “New York Blue is a perfect example of how such collaborative efforts can push us ahead of the curve and allow our region to take the lead in the high-tech industry. Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Lab, and IBM are to be commended for their vision and accomplishments.”

“Supercomputing power ¬ the ability to perform massive numbers of calculations at high speed ¬ is essential for our research into alternative energy sources and many other critical uses,” said Stony Brook University President Shirley Strum Kenny. “Nanotech scientists, nuclear physicists, and computational biologists, among others here, are all working on research devoted to finding new sources of energy, trying to unlock mysteries of disease, and deepening our understanding of the world around us. New York Blue will be a critical engine of discovery for these scientists, a common platform for collaboration.”

Added Brookhaven Director Sam Aronson, “We expect New York Blue will give us the leading-edge computing power we need to make crucial computations in physics, biology, medicine, materials science, nanoscience, and renewable energy. For example, Brookhaven recently opened our new Center for Functional Nanomaterials. In nanoscale science and technology, the new supercomputer will enable us to carry out the complex calculations required to study the physical and chemical properties of nanoparticles being explored for their potential to increase our nation’s energy independence.”

“Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory are significant assets in New York's expanding research and development community. With the addition of a Blue Gene supercomputer, they are benefiting from the powerful collaboration among education, industry and NY State government,” said Dave Turek, Vice President of supercomputing, IBM. “We're pleased to see New York, led by its outstanding universities, pursuing a position of global computational leadership.”

IBM designed its Blue Gene computers to be modular, allowing computing “racks” to be added as demand grows. New York Blue’s initial 18-rack configuration will link together more than 36,000 processors for a total of 100 teraflops performance (100 trillion calculations per second, about 10,000 times as fast as a personal computer). IBM Blue Gene computers hold 28 spots, including the number one ranking, on a list of the world’s top 150 most powerful computers. Blue Gene is also the world’s most energy-efficient computer. It offers more performance per watt than any other system design and needs only a fraction of the energy required for cooling most computer systems.

One of the ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE's Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization. Visit Brookhaven Lab's electronic newsroom for links, news archives, graphics, and more: http://www.bnl.gov/newsroom
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