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System X: Building the Virginia Tech Supercomputer
Wednesday, March 3, 2004
Building 3 Auditorium - 3:30 PM
(Refreshments at 3:00 PM)
Dr. Srinidhi Varadarajan, will talk about System X: Building the Virginia Tech Supercomputer. System X was conceived in March 2003, designed in July 2003 and by October it had achieved a sustained performance of 10.28 Teraflops, making it the third fastest supercomputer in the world today. System X has several novel features. First, it is based on an Apple G5 platform with the new IBM PowerPC 970 64-bit CPUs. Secondly, it uses a high performance switched communications fabric called Infiniband. Finally, System X is cooled by a hybrid liquid-air cooling system.
In this talk, we present the motivation for System X, its architecture, and the challenges faced in building, deploying and maintaining a large-scale supercomputer.
Srinidhi Varadarajan received his PhD in Computer Science from the State University of New York, Stony Brook in 2000. He presently serves as the Director of the Terascale Computing Facility at Virginia Tech and as a Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science. Dr. Varadarajan is the recipient of a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, the Egg Factory Technology Innovation award and a Faculty Fellow award from the College of Engineering, Virginia Tech.
Dr. Varadarajan's research is focused on transparent fault tolerance for massively parallel supercomputers, scalable network emulation, compiler directed strategies for flexible data sharing models and routing algorithms for backbone IP networks. In the area of transparent fault tolerance his work concentrates on developing incremental check pointing, recovery and migration algorithms. His research in network emulation is focused on building a distributed system that can scale to emulate hundreds of thousands of virtual nodes. This work involves research on several areas, including compiler directed mechanisms for transparent generation of reentrant code from non-reentrant sources, automatic check pointing and recovery, code migration, dynamic load balancing and 3D environments for network traffic visualization. In the area of routing algorithms, he is exploring the use of AI techniques such as reinforced learning for use in a probabilistic framework for multi-path routing protocols.
Dr. Varadarajan is the architect of System X, the third fastest supercomputer in the world located at the Terascale Computing Facility at Virginia Tech.
IS&T Colloquium Committee Host: Ben Kobler