NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery for 50 Years


November 1, 2007


Wolfram Ressel, Rector of the University of Stuttgart, and three senior representatives of the High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS), visited Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and NERSC in October. The visitors were particularly interested in energy-efficient architectural designs being drawn up for Berkeley Lab's planned Computational Research and Theory facility, which will house both NERSC and the Computational Research Division. It will also serve and promote a closer tie with researchers from UC Berkeley.

The HLRS is currently housed in a small building and is interested in designing a new facility. Because electricity in Germany costs nearly four times as much as in California, the group engaged in extensive discussions about LBNL efforts to design more efficient buildings as well as a project to develop new computer designs which use less power. After a morning of talks, the visit concluded with a tour of the NERSC Center at the Oakland Scientific Facility.


An ABC station in the Bay Area featured NERSC in a story about building energy-efficient supercomputer centers at research institutions and businesses. The story, which appeared on Nov. 5, called NERSC “one of the world’s most efficient” supercomputing centers.

The story, called “The Next Step in Computer Powering,” focused on efforts by researchers to develop better technologies for cooling supercomputers. The exploration will not only benefit scientists who use powerful computers for their work, it also will help businesses that rely on buildings full of servers to process and store data. Large companies such as Google have been setting up data farms in parts of the country that promise cheap electricity.

It highlighted the work by Bill Tschudi from Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division. Tschudi uses NERSC as a test site for his research. Tsuchudi and his research team have been testing different cooling methods, including the use of DC instead of AC power.

You can read the story and watch the video at the KGO-TV site.


Berkeley Lab researchers will hold talks at the Lab’s SC07 booth from Nov. 13 to Nov. 15. Thirteen researchers will present a wide range of discussions, including scientific data management, power-efficient computing, dynamic virtual circuits and visualization.

The presentations provide a good opportunity to learn about trends in computer science and computational research, as well as key issues in operating a supercomputer center and national science network.

The speakers include George Smoot, winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics, who will discuss computational cosmology.

The Berkeley Lab booth is located at #351. You can find the research talk schedule at

About NERSC and Berkeley Lab
The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility that serves as the primary high performance computing center for scientific research sponsored by the Office of Science. Located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, NERSC serves almost 10,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities researching a wide range of problems in climate, fusion energy, materials science, physics, chemistry, computational biology, and other disciplines. Berkeley Lab is a DOE national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy. »Learn more about computing sciences at Berkeley Lab.