College of Engineering

Prof. Khanna receives new $49,000 grant from the National Science Foundation

This new computational physics grant supports a research program to understand and to address the challenges associated to scaling specific gravitational wave physics applications from a prototype cluster of 16 Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) gaming consoles to the largest system now available, that built by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Rome, NY. AFRL CONDOR makes use of 1,716 PS3s alongside traditional servers and Nvidia CUDA GPUs to achieve 500 TFLOPS of computing power.

There is considerable current interest in harnessing the power of video gaming technology for scientific high-performance computing. Prof. Khanna's prototype cluster was used successfully for scientific computation and demonstrated order-of-magnitude gains in metrics such as performance-per-dollar and performance-per-Watt as compared with traditional CPU-based clusters. Successful scaling up of the applications used for this project will immediately impact the gravitational wave science that these applications enable. In addition, the lessons learned and the experience gained associated to achieving good scaling on a large system like AFRL CONDOR will be extremely valuable and likely applicable to other problems and systems.

Author: "Gaurav Khanna [Contact]"
Date: 6-9-2011

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