Officials unveil supercomputer access at NMSU

Writer: Christina Pheley

As one of the state’s “gateways” to New Mexico’s supercomputer, the fastest publicly available supercomputer in the world, New Mexico State University participatee in “Connect New Mexico,” a statewide event on Jan. 25, in which Gov. Bill Richardson unveiled the interconnected system from Santa Fe.


Still photo of Saturn, taken from a 3-D video clip to be shown during the “Connect New Mexico” event at New Mexico State University Monday, Jan. 25, at 1 p.m. Gov. Bill Richardson will host the event, held simultaneously at eight “gateway” sites around the state networked to the supercomputer, from Santa Fe. It will include a demonstration of the state’s supercomputer—the fastest public access supercomputer in the world. (Photo courtesy of New Mexico Computing Applications Center)

The demonstration was simultaneously launched at eight “gateway” sites around the state, with connectivity available soon at another 24 sites, bringing the state unprecedented chances for high-tech economic development from Hobbs to Farmington, and everywhere in between.

“This is truly historic in terms of our high-tech future,” said Gov. Richardson, who unveiedl the supercomputer gateway system as part of the demonstration event. “We’re bringing the highest level of supercomputing to every corner of the state, and that will give our people remarkable opportunities to compete in the economies of the future.”

The event demonstrated the supercomputer’s teleconferencing and full 3-D stereo visualization systems. It included cabinet members, legislators, business leaders, presidents of colleges and universities and others, attending in Santa Fe and at the gateway sites.

During the networked event, the supercomputing center demonstrated the education, economic and workforce development opportunities the supercomputer offers the state.

The governor presided over the launch of the “Connect New Mexico” event, where all eight new sites (and three more coming online soon) around the state will be connected into the supercomputer using its new teleconferencing capability. The supercomputer sites are located at colleges and universities in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Farmington, Las Cruces, Portales, Socorro and Silver City. These sites will be open to the universities and local businesses that need high-performance computing for design and modeling purposes.

“The supercomputer is a phenomenal high-tech tool,” said NMSU President Barbara Couture. “Being able to provide supercomputing capabilities through a network of universities and businesses enhances research, education and economic development capabilities across the state.”

The supercomputer can be used for research, educational activities, training and business modeling in the areas of energy, environment, digital film, aerospace and biotechnology, among others.

The founding institutions for the New Mexico Computing Applications Center, which runs the supercomputer, are the University of New Mexico, NMSU and New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

The supercomputer will also provide educational opportunities for institutions of higher learning and K-12 schools. It will enable students to take a walk through the human body, or the universe, or it can help medical technicians learn to save lives after accidents in real time.

“The supercomputer will provide remarkable new educational opportunities in high-performance computing throughout the state at the gateway sites,” said Jami Grindatto, director of corporate affairs at Intel for the Southwestern United States “This network of sites gives supercomputer access to all New Mexicans and will help create the high-tech workforce of the future.”

The supercomputer, which is housed at Intel in Rio Rancho, can perform 172 trillion calculations per second. Ultimately, there will be 33 sites around the state —available to business, industry and institutions of higher learning on a daily basis—connected by a secure network into the main computer.

“Our state will soon be wired with the most important high-tech tool needed to compete in our economy—the supercomputer—and it will be available to the entire state,” said Gov. Richardson. “This is just the beginning of tremendous opportunity.”

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