MOSCOW, Idaho — Falcon, a supercomputer offering more than 10 times the processing power of any academic cluster in the region, is now available for use by University of Idaho faculty, staff and student researchers. U of I is one of three universities that gained access to Falcon in April.
The supercomputer is housed at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Collaborative Computing Center (C3), a high-performance computing facility that supports research collaboration and opportunities for INL and Idaho public universities.
Falcon is now managed and operated by a collaboration between INL, U of I, Boise State University and Idaho State University. U of I leads the partnership responsible for the management and upkeep of Falcon.
When it was initially deployed in 2014, Falcon was ranked 97th on the list of the world’s fastest supercomputers. It was upgraded in 2017 and can now perform one quadrillion calculations per second. Falcon represents an order of magnitude increase in computing power for researchers at Idaho public universities.
“Having this incredible asset available for use by our universities is an invaluable addition to the collaborative research capabilities of Idaho’s public universities,” reads the agreement between the universities and Battelle Energy Alliance, which manages INL.
“The Falcon supercomputer puts Idaho academic high-performance computing on the map, significantly increasing the attractiveness and competitiveness of Idaho’s research universities and the students and faculty they serve,” said Christopher Nomura, Ph.D., U of I’s vice president for research and economic development.
In addition to accelerating research and increasing opportunities for collaboration, this resource will help fulfill the mission of INL’s Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) to train and educate the future energy workforce.
Falcon is connected to the universities via the Idaho Regional Optical Network, which enables high-speed data transfers to both local and remote computing centers.
“At the University of Idaho, computer modeling of complex problems is an expertise of our faculty and researchers,” Nomura said. “Having access to the Falcon supercomputer allows Idaho researchers to run larger simulations and analyses more than 10 times faster than previously possible and is a major game changer in our capability and capacity. This acceleration enables investigators to efficiently probe deeper and see farther, leading to new research advancements and insights.”
The supercomputer has nearly 35,000 total cores available, with 972 compute nodes each containing 36 cores and 128 GB RAM. This gives the system a theoretical peak of 1.17 Petaflops (1.17 x 1015 floating point calculations per second). A new high-speed network file system with 1.3 petabytes of usable capacity was purchased by U of I to support Falcon.
For more information about Falcon and to request an account, please visit c3plus3.org/falcon.