Supercomputer project ventures North
The National Center for Atmospheric Research announced that it will build its new supercomputing center at the University of Wyoming in Cheyenne. The new facility will replace NCAR’s aging Mesa Laboratory in Boulder.
Although the laboratory is expected to reach its floor-space and power capacity by the end of the decade, there are no plans to shut down the facility upon completion of the new supercomputing center.
The Wyoming proposal beat CU’s $30 million dollar offer with a 13.5-acre parcel of land near the east side of campus. Wyoming’s $60 million plan would double the computing power possible with CU’s bid. This increase in power will lead to more accurate and earlier detection of hurricanes, increased simulations of the earth’s climate and a greater understanding of solar storms.
The new center’s supercomputer will have peak speeds of teraflops, trillions of operations per second, and the new facility will be able to accommodate many generations of new technology.
CU is disappointed by the outbid of the new NCAR facility. The university has the largest number of research faculty in the nation who study earth sciences.
“We have a huge cluster of scientists here because of NCAR, they compute data beyond our comprehension, and they would be able to make just use of the new facility,” said CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard.
Wyoming plans to collaborate with CU and allow CU’s researchers to use the supercomputer technology.
“It looks promising that we will be able to come to an agreement with the University of Wyoming that will allow our researchers to study with them,” Hilliard said.
The new NCAR facility is scheduled to be completed by late 2010 or early 2011 and NCAR says they feel fortunate that there is interest in the project.
“We feel confident that a new Front Range research collaboration, anchored by the University of Wyoming and with the collaboration of the University of Colorado at Boulder, will emerge that will allow this facility to be truly world-class,” said NCAR Director Tim Killeen.