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NERSC Center News


New IBM Cluster to Go into Production in January

December 1, 2005

NERSC users who run jobs on 256 to 512 processors will benefit from the “Bassi,” the new IBM cluster which goes into production on Monday, Jan. 9, 2006. During the acceptance testing, users reported that codes ran up to 10 times faster on Bassi than on Seaborg.The new machine is an IBM p575 POWER 5 system with 888 processors available for parallel scientific computation. Each Bassi processor has a theoretical peak performance of 7.6 Gflop/s. The processors are distributed among 111 compute… Read More »

NERSC, IBM Collaborate on New Software Strategy To Simplify Supercomputing

December 1, 2005

This month’s IBM announced an innovative software strategy in supercomputing which allows customers to leverage the General Parallel File System (GPFS) across mixed-vendor supercomputing systems for the first time. This strategy is the result of a direct partnership with NERSC. GPFS is an advanced file system for high performance computing clusters that provides high speed file access to applications executing on multiple nodes of a Linux or AIX cluster. GPFS’s scalability and performance… Read More »

NERSC Launches Linux Networx Supercomputer into Production

August 16, 2005

Linux Networx and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science announced today that DOE's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has accepted a 722-processor Linux Networx Evolocity® cluster system for full production use by researchers across the nation. Read More »

New Data Analysis, Mathematics and Visual Analytics Server Enters Production

August 1, 2005

In mid-August, NERSC put into production a new server specifically tailored to interactive visualization and data analysis work.  The 32-processor SGI Altix, called DaVinci, offers interactive access to large amounts of large memory and high performance I/O capabilities typically required to analyze the large datasets produced by the NERSC high performance computing systems (jacquard and seaborg). “With its 192 gigabytes of RAM and 25 terabytes of disk, DaVinci’s balance is biased toward… Read More »


NERSC Is First Production Site on ESnet’s Bay Area MAN

August 1, 2005

On August 23, the NERSC Center became the first of six DOE research sites to go into full production on ESnet’s new San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Area Network (MAN). Once completed, the new MAN will provide dual connectivity at 20 to 30 gigabits per seconds (10 to 50 times the current site bandwidths, depending on the site using the ring) while significantly reducing the overall cost. The connection to NERSC consists of two 10-gigabit Ethernet links. One link will be used for production… Read More »

NERSC’s Bill Kramer Is Honored by NASA, Cited by HPCwire

June 1, 2005

NERSC Center General Manager Bill Kramer received two very different honors recently: a NASA Group Achievement Award for the Advanced Air Transportation Technologies (AATT) Project Team, and inclusion in the HPCwire newsletter’s annual list of “People to Watch” in HPC. Bill, who came to Berkeley Lab from NASA Ames in 1996, was one of the original seven members of the AATT Project team from September 1994 to February 1996. He became the first AATT Program Office Director in 1995. Bill’s… Read More »

NERSC Reaches Another Checkpoint/Restart Milestone

June 1, 2005

On the weekend of June 11 and 12, IBM personnel used NERSC’s Seaborg supercomputer for dedicated testing of IBM’s latest HPC Software Stack, a set of tools for high performance computing. To maximize system utilization for NERSC users, instead of “draining” the system (letting running jobs continue to completion) before starting this dedicated testing, NERSC staff checkpointed all running jobs at the start of the testing period. “Checkpointing” means stopping a program in progress… Read More »

NERSC’s Nick Cardo Helps IBM Refine System Software Testing

June 1, 2005

Nick Cardo, NERSC’s IBM SP project lead, was invited earlier this year to give a customer perspective to  staff at IBM’s test lab in Poughkeepsie, NY. Cardo spent two days at the facility, demonstrating how he runs various systems tests regularly on Seaborg, NERSC’s IBM supercomputer. For two days, Cardo worked side by side with IBM staff on their test SP, showing them how he runs tests on a daily basis. The result was that the IBM staff were able to see what a user encounters. “By… Read More »

Berkeley Lab to Host Sixth Workshop on the DOE Advanced CompuTational Software (ACTS) Collection for HPC Applications

April 13, 2005

A four-day workshop introducing the DOE Advanced CompuTational Software (ACTS) Collection will provide hands-on instruction in building robust scientific and engineering high-end computing applications. The workshop will be held Aug. 23-26 at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif. Read More »

ORNL’s David Dean Elected to Lead NERSC Users Group

April 1, 2005

NERSC Division Director Horst Simon announced this month that  David Dean, a nuclear physics scientist from Oak Ridge National Lab, has been elected chair of the NERSC Users Group. Stephane Ethier, a fusion energy scientist from the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, has been elected vice chair. “Both are long term users of NERSC with an excellent understanding of the issues facing NERSC users,” Simon wrote in his announcement. “I am looking forward to work with them for the benefit of all… Read More »


NERSC’s Storage Strategy Paying Off in Savings

April 1, 2005

Since relocating to Berkeley Lab almost 10 years ago, one of NERSC’s goals has been to consistently introduce new technologies without creating bottlenecks. In a program of planned upgrades to tapes with greater density, the Mass Storage Group has not only achieved this goal, but will save $3.7 million over the course of five years. Over that same time, from 2003 to 2007, the amount of data stored will grow from just over 1 terabyte to 11.3 terabytes. As computational science becomes… Read More »

NERSC Staff Help Pave the Way for Running Larger Jobs on Seaborg

February 1, 2005

As home to one of the largest supercomputers open for unclassified research, the NERSC Center has moved aggressively to devote a greater share of its processing time to jobs running on 512 or more processors.Since the start of Fiscal Year 2005 on Oct. 1, 2004, more than two-thirds of the processing time available on Seaborg has been utilized by jobs running on 512 or more processors (32 nodes). Seaborg comprises 6,080 computing processors. Through January, 76 percent of Seaborg’s processing… Read More »

DOE Allocates Massive Supercomputer Resources to Drive Advances in Combustion, Astrophysics and Protein Structure Research

December 22, 2004

Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced today that 6.5 million hours of supercomputing time have been awarded to three scientific research projects aimed at increasing our understanding of ways to reduce pollution, gaining greater insight into how stars and solar systems form, and advancing our knowledge about how proteins express genetic information. Read More »

INCITE Awards 6.5 Million Hours at NERSC to Research in Combustion, Astrophysics and Protein Structure

December 1, 2004

Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced on Dec. 22 that 6.5 million hours of supercomputing time at NERSC have been awarded to three scientific research projects aimed at increasing our understanding of ways to reduce pollution, gaining greater insight into how stars and solar systems form, and advancing our knowledge about how proteins express genetic information. “As one of the nation’s leading agencies for advancing scientific research, the Energy Department is proud to be able to… Read More »

Two NERSC Users Honored by AGU

December 1, 2004

At the 2004 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, NERSC users Inez Yau-Sheung Fung and Garrison “Gary” Sposito were among the 12 recipients of AGU medals for excellence in research. The meeting was held Dec. 13-17 in San Francisco. Inez Fung Fung, director of the Center for Atmospheric Sciences and a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, was awarded the Roger Revelle Medal. Established in 1991, the Revelle Medal recognizes outstanding accomplishments or… Read More »

Berkeley Lab Scientists Gain New Insight on Photosynthesis

October 1, 2004

Solar power remains the ultimate Olympic gold medal dream of a clean, efficient and sustainable source of energy. The problem has been that in order to replace fossil fuels, we need to get a lot more proficient at harvesting sunlight and converting it into energy. Nature has solved this problem through photosynthesis. All we have to do is emulate it. Read More »

NERSC, LBNL Staff Share Expertise at Cyber Security Summit

October 1, 2004

When cyber security experts from some of the nation’s top research institutions gathered Sept. 27-28 for a summit meeting to better prepare for future cyber attacks, NERSC and LBNL were there to share their experience and expertise. Cyber Security Summit 2004, an invitation-only workshop held in Arlington, Va., was organized by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, with support from the National Science Foundation. A major driver for the meeting was the series of debilitating attacks… Read More »

INCITE PIs to Present Results at SC2004

October 1, 2004

The principal investigators of the three computational science projects enabled by the first year of allocations under the U.S. Department of Energy’s INCITE program will discuss their work in a series of presentations in the Berkeley Lab booth (#139) at the SC2004 conference in Pittsburgh. INCITE, the Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment program, sought out computationally intensive large-scale research projects that could make high-impact scientific advances… Read More »

The Fastest Computers in the World

August 1, 2004

Since 1993, the TOP500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers has been released twice a year. The publication of the 23rd list a few weeks ago during the International Supercomputer Conference in Heidelberg, Germany, was a much-anticipated and closely watched event. Read More »

NERSC, LBNL Staff to Share Expertise at Cyber Security Summit

August 1, 2004

When cybersecurity experts from some of the nation’s top research institutions gather Sept. 27-28 for a summit meeting to better prepare for future cyber attacks, NERSC and LBNL will share their experience and expertise. Cybersecurity Summit 2004, an invitation-only workshop to be held in Arlington, Va., is being organized by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, with support from the National Science Foundation. A major driver for the meeting was the series of debilitating attacks… Read More »


PDSF to Boost Processors, Performance

August 1, 2004

Researchers using the PDSF cluster managed by NERSC will soon have access to more processing power and benefit from a higher speed network connection for accessing archived data. New hardware is being shipped and is expected to be installed by the end of September. The additions include 48 nodes of dual Xeon processors and 10 nodes of dual Opteron processors. These will be added to the existing 550 processor cluster.The system’s connection to NERSC’s internal network will be upgraded from a… Read More »

DOE Office of Science INCITE Program Seeking Proposals for Large-Scale Scientific Computing

July 13, 2004

Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced today that proposals are being accepted for a Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science program to support innovative, large-scale computational science projects which will allow for high-impact scientific advances through the use of a substantial allocation of computer time and data storage at the department's scientific computing center in Berkeley, Calif. Read More »

INCITE Update: Turbulence Researchers Find Smooth Sailing at NERSC

June 1, 2004

There are real advantages in computing at NERSC, and a project led by Professor P. K. Yeung of the Georgia Institute of Technology to study “Fluid Turbulence and Mixing at High Reynolds Number” now wants to take full advantage of those advantages. The project, one of three selected by DOE’s INCITE program, was initially awarded 1.2 million processor hours at NERSC. The project team was also awarded a similar allocation at an NSF computing center. Because the two grants had different… Read More »


Benchmarking Team from LBNL/NERSC Makes News in Japan

June 1, 2004

Late last year, four researchers from the NERSC Center and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Computational Research Division spent nearly one week at the Earth Simulator Center in Japan. Their objective was to run a series of scientific applications on the Japanese supercomputer, in part to assess the viability of the Earth Simulator’s vector architecture for codes important to the DOE Office of Science mission. The visit merited an article and photo in the Japanese-language “ES… Read More »

NERSC Users Post Impressive Record of Published Results

April 1, 2004

In 2003, the Web site for requesting NERSC allocations added a field requesting information about scientific publications related to research using NERSC resources. As a result, NERSC users reported a total of 2,404 peer-reviewed papers based, at least in part, on work done at NERSC.The complete list, organized alphabetically by principal investigator, can be found on the Web at… Read More »

NERSC’s David Skinner Gets Hands on IBM Blue Gene Prototype

April 1, 2004

David Skinner, who is the lead NERSC consultant for the Seaborg system, was working on a performance monitoring project at IBM’s Watson Center in New York earlier this year when an unexpected opportunity presented itself. “There was a BlueGene/L prototype available while I was there, and IBM Research was interested in getting more experience with real users and codes on the machine,” Skinner said. “This was the first real contact NERSC has had with this architecture, which is one of the… Read More »

ASCI purple

NERSC-ANL Blue Planet Proposal Serves as Blueprint for ASCI Purple

March 3, 2004

Two separate events, both aimed at dramatically advancing scientific computing and announced within a month of each other in late 2002, converged in 2003 and will result in DOE’s leadership in high-performance computing for years to come. The first step was the publication in October 2002 of an idea often referred to as “Blue Planet." A month later, DOE announced that IBM had been selected to build ASCI Purple, the fifth generation ASCI supercomputer for the stockpile stewardship program. Read More »

NERSC’s QCD Library is a Model Resource

February 1, 2004

 Five years ago, when the first libraries of lattice QCD data were established at NERSC, the idea of making such information easily accessible to researchers at institutions around the world was a bold new approach. In fact, “The NERSC Archive” format, as it is colloquially known, has become a standard for the lattice storage format, which made exchanging lattices between groups much more efficient. The result is that lattice QCD researchers can avoid the time consuming and computationally… Read More »


All NERSC Production Systems Now on the Grid

February 1, 2004

With the new year came good news for NERSC users – all of NERSC’s production computing and storage resources are now Grid-enabled and can be accessed by users who have Grid applications using the Globus Toolkit. As a result, Grid users now have access to NERSC’s IBM supercomputer (“Seaborg”), HPSS, the PDSF cluster, the visualization server “Escher,” and the math server “Newton.” Users can also get support for Grid-related issues from NERSC’s User Services Group. “Now that… Read More »

NERSC Helps Make Strides Toward Open Science Grid

February 1, 2004

In addition to making all of its production systems available via the DOE Science Grid, NERSC is also participating in the Open Science Grid initiative. Late last year, NERSC’s 400-processor PDSF cluster was integrated into a broad scientific grid currently connecting 27 sites in the U.S. and South Korea. Driven by the high energy physics community to help prepare for participation in multi-institution experiments on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the Open Science Grid (OSG) aims to tie… Read More »

Cray Testing Red Storm Software at NERSC

January 9, 2004

High-performance computing experts from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Center and Cray Inc. have completed the initial operating system and message-passing functional scalability testing for the Red Storm supercomputer currently being developed by Cray Inc. and DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories. The successful effort paves the way for the next stage of testing of I/O (input/output) of two potential Red Storm file systems. Red… Read More »

DOE Announces Major INCITE Allocations of NERSC Resources

December 23, 2003

The DOE Office of Science announced today that three key computational science projects have been chosen to receive a total of 4.9 million hours of supercomputing time at the NERSC Center. The projects are expected to significantly advance our understanding of the makeup of the universe, the chemical process by which plants convert sunlight to energy while removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and the turbulent forces that affect everything from weather to industrial processes. Read More »


The Spinning Cube of Potential Doom

December 22, 2003

The Spinning Cube of Potential Doom visualizes passwords being sent "in the clear," that is, without encryption. These "cleartext" passwords can be easily intercepted, making them a security threat. (Image: Steve Lau) At SC03 in Phoenix, many attendees passing the SCinet network operations center were curiously compelled to stop and watch “The Spinning Cube of Potential Doom,” the brainchild of Steve Lau, staff member at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). The… Read More »

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to Showcase Computing, Grids Expertise at SC2003 Conference

November 10, 2003

The Computing Sciences organization at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will demonstrate its leadership in advancing science-driven supercomputing and next-generation Grid tools in a series of demonstrations and presentations at the SC2003 conference in Phoenix. Read More »


Modeling a Cosmic Bomb: DOE ‘Big Splash’ Award Produces a NERSC First

October 31, 2003

Earlier this year Lifan Wang of the Physics Division and his colleagues reported the first evidence of polarization in a “normal” Type Ia supernova (see Currents, Aug. 8). SN 2001el’s otherwise normal spectrum showed an unusual glitch, however, which has led to the best-ever supercomputer models of the shapes of these exploding stars. Read More »

INCITE Program to Allocate Major Department of Energy Office of Science Computing Resources to Key Scientific Projects

July 31, 2003

Proposals are now being accepted for a new Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science program to support innovative, large-scale computational science projects, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced today. Read More »

Fourth Workshop on the DOE Advanced Computational Software Collection

May 9, 2003

The U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is hosting a four-day workshop on the DOE Advanced CompuTational Software (ACTS) Collection, a set of software tools aimed at simplifying the solution of common and important computational problems. The workshop will be held Aug. 5-8 in Berkeley. Read More »

DOE's NERSC Center Deploys 10 Teraflop/s IBM Supercomputer

March 10, 2003

The National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Center, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science, put its 10 teraflop/s (10 trillion calculations per second) IBM POWER-based supercomputer into service last week, providing researchers across the country with the most powerful computer for unclassified research in the United States. Read More »


David Quarrie Taking Two-Year Assignment to Manage ATLAS Software Project

January 21, 2003

David Quarrie, head of NERSC's High Energy and Nuclear Physics Computing Group, has accepted a two-year appointment as software project leader within the reorganized computing organization for the ATLAS experiment in Geneva, Switzerland. The ATLAS particle detector, scheduled to begin generating massive amounts of data in 2007, is part of the Large Hadron Collider under construction at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, the world's largest particle physics center. Read More »

Berkeley Lab Seeking Applicants for Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Computational Science

January 6, 2003

The U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is now accepting applications for the Luis W. Alvarez Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Computational Science. The deadline for applications for the coming academic year is Monday, March 3, 2003. Read More »

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Leads International Team to Win High-Performance Computing Bandwidth Challenge

November 25, 2002

An international team led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory achieved their third consecutive victory in the High-Performance Bandwidth Challenge at the SC2002 Conference on high-performance networking and computing. Read More »

Berkeley Lab to Share Computing, Networking Expertise in SC2002 Technical Program and Exhibition

November 4, 2002

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a leader in advancing scientific computing for the U.S. Department of Energy, will share its expertise with the high-performance computing and networking community at the SC2002 conference to be held Nov. 16-22 in Baltimore. Read More »

NERSC to Offer 10 Teraflop/s System by Early 2003

November 1, 2002

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Center has signed a contract with IBM to double the size of NERSC's 3,328-processor RS/6000 SP supercomputer, creating a machine with a peak speed of 10 teraflop/s. Read More »


Creating Science-Driven Computer Architecture: The "Blue Planet" Proposal

October 15, 2002

In recent years scientific computing in America has been handicapped by its dependence on hardware that is designed and optimized for commercial applications. Lawrence Berkeley and Argonne national laboratories, in close collaboration with IBM, have responded to the challenge with a proposal for a new program to bring into existence a new class of computational capability in the United States that is optimal for science. Read More »

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Team Achieves 10.6 Gigabits/Second Data Throughput in 10-Gigabit Ethernet Test

July 3, 2002

Although there has been a lot of discussion recently about 10-Gigabit Ethernet capability, actually achieving that level of performance in the real world has been difficult. Until now. a team from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with Force10 Networks (switches), SysKonnect (network interfaces), FineTec Computers (clusters), Quartet Network Storage (on-line storage) and Ixia (line rate monitors) assemble a demonstration system that runs a true scientific application to produce data on one 11-processor cluster, then sends the resulting data across a 10-Gigabit Ethernet connection to another cluster, where it is rendered for visualization. Read More »


Berkeley Lab's RAGE Telepresence Robot Captures R&D100 Award

July 2, 2002

Berkeley Lab's Remote Access Grid Explorer (RAGE), a remote-controlled robot providing two-way interaction via the global Access Grid, has been named a winner of the 2002 R&D100 Award presented by R&D Magazine. Read More »

Registration Open for September 4-7 Workshop on the DOE Advanced Computational Software Collection

June 1, 2002

Applications are now being accepted to attend a workshop on "Robust and High Performance Tools for Scientific Computing" sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). Read More »


Andreas Adelmann Is NERSC's First Alvarez Fellow in Computational Science

May 29, 2002

Selected as the first recipient of NERSC's Luis Alavarez Postdoctoral Fellowship in Computational Science, Adelmann, his wife and three children recently moved into a home in North Berkeley. Read More »

IBM and Department of Energy Supercomputing Center to Make DOE Grid Computing a Reality

March 22, 2002

IBM and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) today announced a collaboration to begin deploying the first systems on a nationwide computing Grid, which will empower researchers to tackle scientific challenges beyond the capability of existing computers. Read More »


NERSC's Peter Nugent Named to Hubble Space Telescope Users Committee

March 4, 2002

Peter Nugent, an astrophysicist in NERSC's Scientific Computing Group who made news last year as co-discoverer of the oldest supernova ever found, has been asked to join the Hubble Space Telescope Users Committee. The committee is an international panel of 12 scientists who serve for three years. Read More »

Colliding Black Holes, Dancers, and Electron Microscopy Push Network Boundaries by Moving Billions of Bits in Network Bandwidth Challenge at SC2001 Conference

November 16, 2001

For the second year in a row, a team led by high-performance computing experts from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory took top honors in a contest to move the most data across the network built around SC, the annual conference of high-performance computing and networking which concluded Nov. 16. The winning application was a live visualization of a simulation of colliding black holes. Read More »

RAGE Rolls Out in Denver

November 9, 2001

At the SC2001 supercomputing conference held in Denver, Colorado, November 12-16, visitors are likely to encounter a roaming robot named RAGE. Despite its fearsome moniker, RAGE is intended to be a convivial sort of critter, built specifically for the purpose of extending the reach of the group-communication tool known as the Access Grid to people and events far from the Grid's fixed "nodes." Read More »

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to Present Leading HPC Experts in Series of Talks at SC2001 Conference

November 9, 2001

Some of the nation's leading experts in high-performance computing and computational science will be featured in a series of talks presented in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory booth at the SC2001 conference to be held Nov. 12-16 in Denver. Read More »

NERSC Unveils Global Unified Parallel File System

October 31, 2001

In a typical high-performance computing (HPC) environment, each large computational system has its own local disk, and access to additional network-attached storage and archival storage servers. Such an environment prevents the consolidation of storage between systems, thus limiting the amount of working storage available on each system to its local disk capacity. The result? An unnecessary replication of files on multiple systems, an increased workload on users to manage their files, and a… Read More »

World's Largest Unclassified Supercomputer Goes Online, Scientists Already Reporting Significant Results

October 8, 2001

Scientists at universities and national laboratories across the country are now tapping into the power of the world's largest supercomputer dedicated to unclassified research and have reported important breakthroughs in climate research, materials science and astrophysics. Read More »

Nuclear Science and Physics Programs Invest in a Major Expansion of the PDSF Cluster at NERSC

October 8, 2001

Eighty-two new servers and significant improvements in the overall computing and networking infrastructure will be added this fall to the PDSF (Parallel Distributed Systems Facility), a large Linux-based computer cluster that is currently operated as a partnership between three divisions of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: Nuclear Science, Physics, and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). Computing power will be expanded by 57 dual-processor nodes, and storage capacity will be tripled. Read More »

Berkeley Lab Receives Multi-Million-Dollar Funding to Develop New Computational Tools for Advancing Scientific Research

August 14, 2001

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will help lead the development of a new generation of tools and technologies for scientific computing under a new $57 million program announced today (August 14) by the DOE. Under the program, called Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC), Berkeley Lab scientists will lead six of the projects and are key partners in another six projects. Read More »

Ranking Shows U.S. Department of Energy's NERSC at Berkeley Lab Has World's Most Powerful Unclassified Supercomputer

June 21, 2001

In the latest ranking of the world's 500 most powerful supercomputers, a 2,528-processor IBM RS/6000 SP system at the U. S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is listed as the top unclassified supercomputer on Earth. Read More »


Berkeley Lab Dedicates First Oakland City Facility

May 24, 2001

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s first off-site facility in the city of Oakland, which houses Computing Sciences employees and the high-performance computing and data storage systems of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), was dedicated by officials from the Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the city, and industry partners on Thursday, May 24. Read More »

Berkeley Lab Buys 160-Processor Cluster Computer to Advance Scientific Computing & Research

December 12, 2000

In what could be a glimpse into the future of high-performance computing, Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences will buy and operate a 160-processor cluster computer to assess whether such system can meet the day-to-day production demands of a scientific computing center. Clusters are assemblies of commodity computers designed and networked to operate as a single system. By using off-the-shelf components, clusters can provide a cost-effective balance between price and computer performance. To date,… Read More »

NERSC Computers Are Up and Running in Oakland

November 20, 2000

After more than a year of planning, months of construction, and an intense week of moving and installation, NERSC’s Cray supercomputers, High Performance Storage System (HPSS), and Parallel Distributed Systems Facility (PDSF) cluster for high-energy physics and auxiliary systems are up and running in Berkeley Lab’s new Oakland Scientific Facility. The moved systems were down for less than a week and NERSC’s IBM RS/6000 SP Phase I computer remained in service during the move and will stay… Read More »

Berkeley Lab Demonstrates Leadership in High-Performance Computing and Networking at SC2000

November 14, 2000

The Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences organization again demonstrated its achievements and leadership in high-performance computing and networking at the annual SC conference held last week in Dallas. The SC conference, formerly known as Supercomputing, drew 5,200 attendees and 153 exhibitors, including vendors and research organizations, such as the DOE labs. Read More »

Berkeley Lab to Release AMR Software Package at SC2000

November 1, 2000

The U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will release "Berkeley Lab AMR," a comprehensive library of adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) software and documentation at the SC2000 conference to be held Nov. 4-10 in Dallas. With the use of AMR and powerful parallel computers, new horizons are opening in scientific research. Read More »

NERSC's Bill Kramer Leads Networking at SC2000

November 1, 2000

The U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will release "Berkeley Lab AMR," a comprehensive library of adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) software and documentation at the SC2000 conference to be held Nov. 4-10 in Dallas. With the use of AMR and powerful parallel computers, new horizons are opening in scientific research. Read More »

Scientific Data Management Group Making Significant Progress, Also Making News

June 16, 2000

NERSC's Scientific Data Management Group notched a couple of wins this month, contributing to an important milestone in the Earth Sciences Grid project and getting a full-page article in the June 12 issue of Computerworld magazine. The Computerworld article described the group's Storage Access Coordination System (STACS), which streamlines the task of searching and retrieving requested subsets of data files from massive tape libraries. Read More »

NERSC to Share Major Grant for Climate Model Research

May 15, 2000

DOE's Climate Change Prediction Program (CCPP, formerly CHAMMP) has awarded $3 million over 18 months to a multi-agency, multi-laboratory collaboration that aims to develop a modular, performance-portable Climate System Model. NERSC will receive $540,000 of that total. Read More »


Deb Agarwal Named One of Top 25 Women of the Web

May 1, 2000

NERSC's Deb Agarwal was honored as one of the Top 25 Women of the Web in the May 2000 cover story of Upside magazine. Read More »

National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center Accepts New IBM Supercomputer

March 28, 2000

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory today announced that the first phase of its new IBM RS/6000 SP system has met a demanding set of performance benchmarks and is now ready for full use by researchers across the nation. Read More »

NERSC's Lenny Oliker Co-Authors "Best Paper of SC99"

November 30, 1999

Leonid "Lenny" Oliker, a post-doctoral fellow in NERSC's Scientific Computing Group, was co-recipient of the "Best Paper of SC99" award at SC99, the annual conference on high-performance computing and networking. Read More »

DOE Establishes Probe Testbed for Storage-Intensive Applications

October 12, 1999

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. -- Today's scientific researchers are generating staggering volumes of data, with data sources ranging from computational simulations of global and regional climate, to digital instrumentation of physical experiments and satellite imagery. Add projects such as human genome mapping, with massive demands for rapid user access, and it's easy to see why strategies for optimizing data storage and retrieval are vital for research laboratories. The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge… Read More »

NERSC Offers More Powerful Computer Resources to Researchers

September 8, 1999

In late August, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) officially accepted an array of three SGI/Cray SV1 supercomputers after a month of testing. The new SV1 computers perform, on average, three times  as fast as the Cray J90se machines they replace. According to SGI/Cray, NERSC was one of the first centers to receive certified production models of the SV1. "These SV1 supercomputer will aid our scientific users in their work on some of the most important problems… Read More »


NERSC Celebrates 25 Years of Computing

July 7, 1999

The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) this year marks its 25th anniversary of providing scientific computing resources to scientists studying problems such as combustion, global climate change, fusion energy, computational biology, materials science, high-energy and nuclear physics, and environmental remediation. The center started out as the Controlled Thermonuclear Research Computer Center and was later renamed the National Magnetic Fusion Energy Computer Center and… Read More »


New IBM RS/6000 System Rolls into NERSC Machine Room

July 2, 1999

Phase 1 of the NERSC-3 procurement rolled into Berkeley Lab on Saturday, June 26. Nearly filling three North American Van Lines trailers, the system consisted of 60 cabinets, cartons and crates with a total weight of 35,603 pounds. The crew of North American, IBM and NERSC staffers unloaded the equipment in about three hours, then moved it from the loading area to the first-floor machine room in Bldg. 50B. There, another group of workers positioned the 23 cabinets and connected them to seismic… Read More »

NERSC Picks IBM System for Next-Generation Supercomputer with 3 Trillion Calculations per Second Capability

April 28, 1999

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory today (April 28) announced that it has selected an IBM RS/6000 SP system as the center's next-generation supercomputer. Read More »

NERSC Achieves Breakthrough 93% Utilization on Cray T3E

April 19, 1999

The NERSC Computational Systems Group last week completed the final acceptance tests for the Cray T3E, completing an almost two-year effort to meet all conditions of the original purchase agreement. Key to completing the tests was the successful implementation of SGI's "psched" scheduling daemon. With all the features of psched running, and with NQS and "prime job" control scripts written by Computational Systems Group staff, the T3E has posted utilization figures of more than 93 percent, a… Read More »

NERSC Presents Computational Science Lecture Series in D.C.

March 30, 1999

The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), a DOE national user facility, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are presenting a series of colloquia on some of the more exciting and promising areas of computational science. NERSC, originally established in 1974, provides computing resources to 2,500 users and also advances research in such areas as combustion, climate change, computational biology, materials science, data intensive computing and fusion energy. The… Read More »

Energy Department to Broaden Peer Review for Use of its Largest Unclassified Computer Center

February 22, 1999

The U.S. Department of Energy today announced a new policy of broader scientific peer review for the use of its largest unclassified scientific computing facility, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). To advance the role of computing in DOE's scientific research programs, the department will also establish a new Policy Board to help chart the future of the facility. 

The scientific computing center, currently home to seven SGI/Cray supercomputers, is located at… Read More »


Forbes ASAP Picks Berkeley Lab Visualization as Cover Image to Illustrate Power of Supercomputers

February 22, 1999

An image created by Wes Bethel of the NERSC Visualization Group and Ken Downing of Berkeley Lab's Life Sciences Division graces the Feb. 22 cover of Forbes ASAP, a quarterly supplement to Forbes magazine. The image shows two different representations of the protein actin. The 96-page issue of ASAP is devoted to supercomputers, past, present and future. Other images produced by the Viz Group are used in the print version, too, but don't show up in the web edition. ASAP reporter Scott Lajoie… Read More »

Future Technologies Group Gets Four-Year Funding for Cluster Work

January 4, 1999

The DOE Office of Science announced just before Christmas that it will sponsor a proposal by NERSC's Future Technologies Group (FTG) to develop software for high performance clusters. The research project, a collaboration between LBNL, the Intel Corporation Enterprise Server Group, and Argonne National Lab, will investigate applications and extensions of the Virtual Interface Architecture (VIA), a hardware/software standard for high performance communication in clusters. The project is funded… Read More »

NERSC Is Partner In Winning Supercomputing's Top Prize

November 17, 1998

Andrew Canning, a member of NERSC's Scientific Computing Group, and collaborating scientists at Oak Ridge National Lab, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and University of Bristol (UK) were named winners of the 1998 Gordon Bell Prize for the best achievement in high-performance computing. The award was announced last Thursday near the end of SC98, an annual conference on high-performance computing and networking. The group's modeling of metallic magnet atoms was run on progressively more… Read More »

Computing Sciences Demonstrates Latest Scientific Computing Tools at High-Performance Computing and Networking Conference

November 5, 1998

When SC98, the annual conference on high-performance computing and networking, convenes Nov. 7 in Orlando, computational scientists from the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will be out in force. During the week-long conference of the nation's leaders in computing and networking, members of Berkeley Lab's Computing Sciences organization will be presenting leading-edge computer simulations, demonstrating the latest tools for enhancing scientific research, and sharing… Read More »

Phillip Colella Receives 1998 Sidney Fernbach Award

November 3, 1998

Phillip Colella, a mathematician and leader of the Applied Numerical Algorithms Group at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), has been named as the recipient of the 1998 Sidney Fernbach Award, given each year to one person who has made "an outstanding contribution in the application of high performance computers using innovative approaches." Presented during SC98, the annual conference on high-performance networking and computing, the award is named for one of the… Read More »


ACTS Toolkit Support Debuts on the Web

August 27, 1998

The ACTS (Advanced Computational Testing and Simulation) Toolkit, a set of DOE-developed software tools that make it easier for programmers to write high-performance scientific applications for parallel computers, now has a dedicated website for user support. The purpose of ACTS is to accelerate the adoption and use of advanced computing by DOE programs for their mission-critical problems. While DOE has been motivated to develop the tools for its own programs, it also encourages their adoption… Read More »

NERSC Project to Enhance Climate Modeling Tools

March 6, 1998

DOE's Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Program has announced that it will sponsor a joint climate research project between NERSC and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) to investigate how widely used climate models can be run effectively and efficiently on massively parallel processing supercomputers. NERSC will probably focus work initially on the Modular Ocean Model developed at the GFDL, and investigate additional models in future years. The proposal looked at the… Read More »

International Survey Ranks Berkeley Lab as Top Unclassified Computing Center in United States

December 17, 1997

The semi-annual TOP500 list released in November 1997 ranked the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center's Cray T3E-900 supercomputer as the most powerful unclassified machine in the U.S. and the fifth most powerful in the world. Read More »

Rock Solid Science: Scaling New Heights in Computational Science

November 10, 1997

Computer scientists from Berkeley Lab will show how computational science and high performance networking are helping to solve some of today's most pressing scientific problems in a series of displays and demonstrations at SC97, the annual high performance computing and networking conference. Read More »

NERSC Delivers One Million T3E CPU-Hours to Scientific Users

October 28, 1997

On Thursday, Oct. 23, 1997, NERSC passed a milestone of delivering 1,000,000 parallel computing CPU-hours to the scientific community. The records of all parallel computation performed on the prototype T3E-600 from late January to early September 1997, and on the full configuration 512-processor T3E-900 from late July to Oct. 23 indicate that Grand Challenge users received 425,000 parallel computing hours, while the remaining 575,000 hours were used by more than 100 other research groups. Read More »

NERSC First to Reach Decade-Long Goal of Seamless Shutdown, Restart on Massively Parallel Processing System

October 21, 1997

The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) today announced a milestone in high-performance computing: successfully stopping and restarting a number of scientific computing jobs on a CRAY T3E supercomputer without any data processing loss or discontinuity. Called "checkpointing," the stop/restart procedure achieved twice in one week at NERSC is believed to be the first time such a procedure has been accomplished on a massively parallel processing (MPP) supercomputer. Read More »

Intel, Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley to Create Off-The-Shelf Parallel Supercomputing Network

October 9, 1997

The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will join Intel Corp.and UC Berkeley in creating a new "system of computer systems" to carry out research and evaluate technologies for a new generation of supercomputers. Read More »

Computing Sciences Reorganizes to Better Align R&D Programs in High-Performance Computing and Networking Technology

August 11, 1997

State of the new computer sciences reorganization at the eighteen month anniversary. Computing Sciences has served as a catalyst, positively impacting both DOE national programs and the Berkeley Laboratory. Highlights include new opportunities for scientific programs pursued through Grand Challenges, LDRDs, and the DOE 2000 initiative, combined with new collaborations with the Advanced Light Source, High Energy Physics, Nuclear Science, and the Human Genome project. Read More »

Cray T3E-900 Getting Up and Running at NERSC

July 14, 1997

A 512-processor CRAY T3E-900 supercomputer was delivered July 14 to the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center. The machine has been installed and is now undergoing a series of rigorous acceptance tests. Once the machine is certified to meet performance specifications, select members of NERSC's national user community will be allowed to start running experiments. Read More »

NERSC Begins Acceptance Tests of Cray T3E-900

July 7, 1997

The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at Berkeley Lab began acceptance tests Aug. 4 of the center's new Cray T3E-900 supercomputer, one of the most powerful unclassified computers in the nation. Read More »

Throwback Thursdays Celebrate Scientific Supercomputing

A Cray-1 supercomputer arrives at the Magnetic Fusion Energy Computer Center in May 1978. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) was investing in scientific supercomputing long before the internet became the internet, and back when clouds only came in the white, fluffy variety. As part of the DOE's celebration of scientific supercomputing, we present a sampling of historical photos and factoids shared each of the five Thursdays of this month via social media channels. To see a full resolution… Read More »