Jefferson Lab Awards Contract for Next Cluster Computer

Newport News, Va. - The U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has awarded the contract for providing the components of its next major cluster computer installation to Koi Computers, a woman-owned, certified Small Disadvantaged Business located in Lombard, Ill. Koi won the $1.1 million contract with its bid to provide 432 dual processor, dual core computer nodes.

Each node, which can be thought of as a single computer, will contain two Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) dual-core processors with two Gigabytes (GB) of onboard random access memory (RAM). The nodes will be connected via a Double Data Rate Infiniband network, which is capable of transferring 20 Gigabits of data per second (Gb/s) between the nodes.

The result is a powerful cluster computer built of off-the-shelf components that rivals the computing power of a supercomputer. The cluster, dubbed 7N, will be installed in Jefferson Lab's recently expanded Computer Center. Portions of the system should begin arriving in mid-March, and the full cluster should begin full operation in early May. Once installed, it will more than triple the Lab's high-end computing capabilities.

Fanny Ho, the CEO of Koi Computers, says she is happy her company won the contract and is looking forward to fulfilling the order. "It's very important to us, especially since we are such a small business."

"They beat out other bidders by a strategy of offering a very good product, aggressively priced and a strategy for upgrading," says Roy Whitney, Jefferson Lab Chief Information Officer. "They have a proven track record of being able to deliver, and we are very excited to work with them."

In the meantime, Jefferson Lab will be evaluating AMD's quad-core chips, which may later be used to upgrade the cluster's total computing capability. The additional processors would also be provided by Koi Computers.

The new cluster computer will continue the work of its Jefferson Lab predecessors, running powerful computer simulations to shed light on how one of the basic forces of nature, the strong force, builds protons, neutrons and other particles out of the basic building blocks of matter, quarks and gluons.

For more information:
Jefferson Labs cluster computing efforts:…


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. JSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (SURA).

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