University scores supercomputer for research, funding and big data

supercomputer-UNLV-researchOne of the most powerful computers in the world is on its way to being connected to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).

UNLV confirmed today that it received Intel’s “Cherry Creek” supercomputer, which will be stored at Switch’s SUPERNAP Data Center. With 10,000 processing cores, it has the power of 2,500 Mac desktops. It can crunch and store data in a matter of hours that would take the university’s current supercomputer a week.

That means, where it once took a week to compare 1,000 human genomes for Alzheimer’s research, researchers can now compare 100,000 genomes in that time.

“A lot of these calculations that would take many years to calculate, we can now do in a matter of weeks,” said Marty Schiller, executive director of of quantitative health sciences division at UNLV. “Every step up in the power enables new questions to be answered.”

UNLV researchers will be able to connect to the computer on campus through a software program. Cherry Creek is expected to not only enhance research projects at UNLV, but also bring in new grants and partnerships with private companies.

It’s the next step toward becoming a Tier 1 research university, UNLV acting President Don Snyder said.

“It has potential of allowing us to do things we only dreamed of,” Snyder said. “We don’t have the chance to get in the game if we don’t have those type of capabilities.”

(Next page: How the university scored the supercomputer; future capabilities)


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