Silicon Mechanics Announces Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Celebrating Award of Annual Research Cluster Grant to Wayne State University

High-performance compute cluster will make research infrastructure even more competitive

Silicon Mechanics, Inc., a leading manufacturer of rackmount servers, storage, and high-performance computing clusters, announces its participation in a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating Wayne State University's receipt of a high-performance compute cluster as part of Silicon Mechanics' 3rd Annual Research Cluster Grant. The ceremony will be held September 18, 2014 from 11:30–12:30 at Wayne State University (WSU) in the Computing Services Center, 5925 Woodward Avenue. The ceremony will be attended by Wayne State’s Associate Vice President and CIO Joe Sawasky; Deputy CIO for Research Patrick Gossman; Dean of the College of Engineering Farshad Fotouhi; and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Wayne Raskind; along with Silicon Mechanics CEO Eva Cherry and Education/Research/Gov't Vertical Group Manager Art Mann.

"We are proud to celebrate with WSU, which stood out in the competitive field of applicants based on the high level of collaboration across departments, as well as the positive impact their research has on faculty, students, and the greater Detroit community," Mann said.

The new HPC cluster donated by Silicon Mechanics combines multiple compute and GPU nodes, allowing researchers to best utilize both types of parallel computing. A significant update to WSU's current computing grid, the cluster will be shared by several of the most computation-intensive research groups on campus, making WSU's research infrastructure even more competitive.

"The Silicon Mechanics cluster, with the NVIDIA GPUs and Intel co-processors, provides powerful new capabilities for our researchers who are working with highly parallel problems," Sawasky said. "This cluster complements our already impressive high performance computing, storage and networking environment, opening the doors to performing cutting-edge research in a fraction of the time it would have taken before."

Among the groups using the cluster will be two interdisciplinary collaborative research teams, including both computer scientists and domain scientists focusing on chemistry, mathematics, physics, and biology, along with cancer and biomedical research. Fifteen researchers have already begun taking advantage of the cluster's powerful new parallel processing capabilities.

One research team will use the cluster in its work developing and applying computational chemistry methods for the simulation of chemical and biochemical systems. Another project makes use of parallel computation with multiple GPUs to solve and simulate two-dimensional polycrystalline and/or nanostructured material systems. These systems are important in developing new experimental tools used to understand grain growth dynamics, crucial to the control of hardness and strength in a wide range of engineering materials. Another group will use the cluster's state-of-the-art hardware, particularly the NVIDIA K40 and Intel PHI co-processor, to enhance the development of WSU's novel GPU Optimized Monte Carlo simulation engine, known as GO-MC.

The HPC cluster includes hardware and software donated by Intel, NVIDIA, HGST, Mellanox Technologies, Supermicro, Seagate, Kingston Technology, Bright Computing, and LSI Logic. This year's HPC cluster contains eight compute nodes, one head node, Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessors, NVIDIA® Tesla® GPUs, and InfiniBand and gigabit Ethernet networking.

Details about Silicon Mechanics' 4th Annual Research Cluster Grant will be announced this fall.