NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery for 50 Years

Grace Hopper Powers Science on NERSC's New Cray XE6

June 4, 2010


Photo of Grace Hopper courtesy of the Hagley Museum & Library, PC20100423_201. Mural designed by Caitlin Youngquist (Berkeley Lab).

American computer scientist Grace Hopper will power science on the cabinets of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center's (NERSC) petascale Cray XE6 system.  A pioneer in the field of software development and programming languages, Hopper created the first compiler. She was a champion for increasing the usability of computers, understanding that their power and reach would be limited unless they were made to be more user-friendly. NERSC's new flagship machine is named "Hopper" in her honor.

Cray launched the XE6 supercomputing system last week at its annual gathering of users in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Hopper system is being deployed at NERSC in two-phases—last year the system arrived as a Cray XT5 and over the next few months will be upgraded to a petascale XE6 system.

The new flagship system will feature Cray’s new Gemini interconnect, which will improve performance of scientific applications as well as system reliability and resilience. Phase-2 will also incorporate innovative ECOphlex liquid cooling technology, which will increase the machine’s energy efficiency.

"At NERSC, we serve a diverse scientific workload and a large user base that includes more than 3,000 scientists and engineers performing a wide array of unclassified research. Our center needed a supercomputing system that is energy efficient and delivers outstanding performance on real-world applications and we're looking forward to making a petascale system using Cray's latest technology available to our broad user community as they tackle some of the most critical problems facing society today, such as cleaner energy and climate change," said Kathy Yelick, Director of NERSC at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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, the NERSC Center 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.