News Archive

Intel Provides Donation to Enhance Research and Teaching at NPACI Partner TACC

New Hardware Geared Toward Grid Development and Applications

Published 01/21/2002

Austin, TX - The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) will be receiving a donation of high-end hardware from Intel Corporation that will enhance the computational research and training at the Center as well as providing new resources for grid development in the state of Texas. The emerging grid infrastructure will ultimately benefit scientists nationwide by allowing a fast, efficient way for them to process and share data.

"TACC is extremely grateful for this generous donation from Intel. The TACC staff is eager to begin evaluating, developing, porting, and installing network, security, and grid software technologies that use this hardware to enhance the usefulness of TACC resources to users at UT and across the country," said Jay Boisseau, director of TACC. "The grid activities we conduct for the University and State of Texas will include much software from the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure [NPACI] and therefore will help build expertise that assists NPACI in its construction of the TeraGrid."

Grid technologies tend to be "behind the scenes" from a computational science perspective while greatly enhancing the capabilities of researchers by integrating separate resources more tightly and enabling the use of multiple systems more effectively. TACC grid computing research and development will provide an opportunity for UT students to participate in this fast-growing technology area.

"Intel is especially pleased with the recent equipment contribution to TACC because this equipment will support graduate students in their research on primary code development, parallel computing, and performance optimization," said Kimberly Sills, Academic Relations Account Manager at Intel. "In addition, TACC, as an NPACI resource partner, plays a key role in the success of NPACI and its support of the TeraGrid, which Intel is helping to build," said Sills.

The new hardware donated to TACC includes:

  • Two workstations: Intel Xeon 1.7 GHz, Intel 860 Chipset/400MHz system bus, 2 9-pin serial connectors, 16550-compatible, 25-pin parallel connector (bi-directional), 1-4XAGP Pro110 slot, 3-32 bit/33 MHz & 2-64 bit/66 MHz PCI slots, 2-IEEE 1394 ports
  • One dual-processor server: Intel Pentium III Xeon 1GHz, 133MHz front side bus, 7 PCI slots (2 x 64-bit/66MHz (hot-plug), 2 x 64-bit/33MHz (hot-plug), 2 x 64-bit/33MHz, 1 x 32bit/33MHz
  • Four single-processor servers: Intel Pentium III Xeon 1GHz, 133MHz front side bus, 7 PCI slots (2 x 64-bit/66MHz (hot-plug), 2 x 64-bit/33MHz (hot-plug), 2 x 64-bit/33MHz, 1 x 32bit/33MHz)
  • Three Gigabit Ethernet NICs: IntelR PRO/1000 F Server Adapter
  • Three Gigabit Ethernet Switches: NetStructure 470F GB Switch

TACC plans to use the new network equipment to link TACC systems at higher bandwidths and the computing hardware to provide network, UT, and grid software services. The network hardware will be used primarily to enhance the production capabilities of the TACC infrastructure and the developing TACC grid; the computing systems will be used for hosting both research and development software and for production software that results from those research and development efforts.

For example, the most powerful computing systems on the UT campus are in the TACC main facility, while the immersive scientific visualization laboratory is nine miles away. The largest data storage and archival facility is in the TACC machine room, so a process of simulation-visualization-storage requires multiple data transfers of potentially enormous files. As UT researchers develop their own local clusters for code development and small scale simulation, there is often need to move data from these systems to the Vislab for analysis and the TACC data archive.

TACC will use NPACI-developed software, including the SDSC Storage Resource Broker, which provides a "data grid," a single logical name space extending over a heterogeneous Grid of computing and storage systems, and the Network Weather Service, a collection of network performance data for use in making Grid scheduling decisions, such as scheduling of data transfers for simulations.

About TACC: TACC provides advanced computational infrastructure to the faculty, staff, and students of The University of Texas at Austin to enhance the academic research capabilities. TACC also provides consulting services, technical documentation and training classes to support users of these resources. Through the NPACI these resources and support activities are also made available to the national academic research community.

About NPACI: The National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI) unites 48 universities and research institutions to build the computational environment for tomorrow's scientific discovery. Led by the University of California, San Diego, and the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), NPACI is funded by the National Science Foundation's Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI) program and receives additional support from the State and University of California, other government agencies, and partner institutions. The NSF PACI program also supports the National Computational Science Alliance. For additional information about NPACI, see, or contact David Hart at SDSC, 858-534-8314,

About the TeraGrid: The $53 million TeraGrid project is funded by the National Science Foundation and includes four partners: the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego; the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; the Center for Advanced Computing Research (CACR) at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena; and Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, IL. When completed, the TeraGrid will include 13.6 teraflops of Linux cluster computing power at the four TeraGrid sites, facilities to manage and store more than 450 terabytes of data, high-resolution visualization environments, and toolkits for grid computing. Primary corporate partners are IBM, Intel Corporation, and Qwest Communications. Other partners are Myricom, Sun Microsystems, and Oracle Corporation. SDSC leads the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI), and CACR is a key NPACI partner. NCSA leads the National Computational Science Alliance (Alliance), and Argonne is a key Alliance partner. NPACI and the Alliance support the success of the TeraGrid through their partners and infrastructure-building activities. See

David L. Hart, NPACI/SDSC