Q Calls Shots in Underground N-tests

The US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration has selected Compaq to build the world’s fastest and most powerful supercomputer.

The supercomputer – a 30+ TeraOPS system with 12 trillion bytes of memory and code-named ‘Q’ – is the latest advancement in the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative within the NNSA’a Stockpile Stewardship Program.

The program uses science-based methods to assess and certify the safety, security and reliability of nuclear weapons without underground nuclear testing.

‘Q’ will initially consist of around 375 AlphaServer GS320 systems with EV68 CPUs running in excess of 1,250 MHz on Compaq’s Tru64 UNIX operating system.

At almost 21,000 square feet, the supercomputer will be coupled with 6,000 fibre and copper cables. It will also have more than 600 terabytes of Compaq StorageWorks Modular Array storage systems.

The NNSA also has options to upgrade to future generations of Alpha processors which would result in a 100 TeraOPS configuration by 2004.

The contract is worth in excess of US $200 million and the supercomputer will be based at the NNSA’a Strategic Computing Complex in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Deliveries are expected to begin in September 2000 and the entire system is scheduled to be operational by 2002.