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University of Texas to Deploy World-Class Supercomputer

Dubbed Lonestar6, a new supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center at UT Austin will help researchers design patient-specific cancer treatments, see deeper into space and make more accurate climate forecasts.

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The Texas Advanced Computing Center is designing and deploying a new supercomputer called Lonestar6 this fall.
Texas Advanced Computing Center
(TNS) — The Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas is designing and deploying a new supercomputer — one that, when deployed, will be among the fastest at any U.S. university.

The new supercomputer, dubbed Lonestar6, will run on a Dell Technologies system and be designed and operated by the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus.

“Opening up TACC’s world-class computing ecosystem will benefit numerous students and scholars across the UT System,” said James Milliken, chancellor of the UT System. “We are grateful for the continued investment by the Board of Regents, which will allow the UT System to maintain leadership in this critical technology area and attract top faculty across science and engineering fields.”

Once Lonestar6 is fully operational in the fall, it will be the seventh-fastest supercomputer at a U.S. university and will be three times as powerful as the Lonestar5 system it replaces, according to the university. A person would have to do one calculation every second for 100 million years to match what Lonestar6 will compute in just one second.

The advanced computer system is expected to help accelerate and boost research to allow scholars across Texas to compute cutting-edge research in science and engineering. For example, the new system will help doctors design patient-specific cancer treatments, let astronomers peer deeper into space and help meteorologists forecast the changing climate.

The system is made up of more than 800 Dell EMC PowerEdge C6525 servers with 3rd Generation AMD Epyc processors.

Rajesh Pohani, vice president of PowerEdge, Core Compute and High Performance Computing for Dell Technologies, said the system will be a valuable research tool for the Texas university research community.

“With Dell EMC PowerEdge servers, researchers will be able to tackle challenging and intense workloads to make the discoveries that will advance society and our understanding of the world around us,” Pohani said in a written statement.

The addition comes shortly after TACC celebrated its 20th birthday in September. The center has grown to nearly 200 employees and houses more than a dozen advanced computing systems. This includes two more of the most powerful university supercomputers in the U.S.: Frontera, which is the 10th-fastest on the globe; and Stampede2, the 35t- fastest. Both systems use products from Dell Technologies.

TACC is supported by the University of Texas Research Cyberinfrastructure initiative, which has helped provide computing and data resources at no cost to Texan scientists, students, scholars and engineers at all 13 University of Texas System institutions. The initiative will also expand to support artificial intelligence research.

In total, the UT Research Cyberinfrastructure initiative has supported more than 7,000 researchers and students on more than 2,300 projects, using 543 million hours of computing time. It also has been able to contribute significant scientific and societal impacts, including COVID-19 research, hurricane prediction, wind energy design, and dark energy data. Last year at TACC alone, UT System researchers cited TACC assistance in 147 papers.

Last year, the University of Texas Board of Regents approved $8.4 million to help support the University of Texas Research Cyberinfrastructure initiative. This adds to $23 million in funds to increase high-performance connectivity and computing capacity in 2010, and additional funds in 2015 specifically allocated to enhance connectivity and deploy a new generation of both the Lonestar and Corral systems in partnership with Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

Several Texas academic institutions also contributed $2 million to the project, including the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, the Center for Space Research (both based at UT Austin), Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University and the University of North Texas system.

The funding will also support a new high-performance data storage and archival system called Corral which will provide access to TACC’s Longhorn system, which is used for artificial intelligence and other GPU-accelerated problems.

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