INDUSTRY AND THE PROFESSION
BACK ON THE JOB
Most retired large-scale computers end up on the scrap heap because the cost of maintaining them
often exceeds the price of a new machine with equal
crunching power. Plus, there's a fair amount of gold to
be mined from them thar hills. Recognizing that access
to decommissioned supercomputers can be quite
valuable to researchers and students, Los Alamos
National Laboratory recently created the Parallel
Reconfigurable Observational Environment (PRObE)
center at its Los Alamos Research Park, about 35 miles
outside of Santa Fe, NM. The center contains more than
1,000 computers and 2,000 cores from retired Los
Alamos systems named Coyote and Cuda, and more will
be added as unclassified systems hit retirement age.
According to Los Alamos, "The facility will be
available to researchers from US universities, as well
as to summer undergraduate students through the Los
Alamos Institutes. No other facility exists in the world
for students and researchers to work out the complexities
in designing and testing concepts for supercomputers
■ Los Alamos Director Charlie McMillan talks with
Andree Jacobson of the New Mexico Consortium
in the PRObE machine room.
at this large scale."
The center is funded by a $10 million grant from the
National Science Foundation and is operated by the New
Mexico Consortium and collaborators at LANL, Carnegie
Mellon University, and the University of Utah.
To find out if there's a slot for you at the center, visit
www.la-rp.org and fill in the form, or call Kevin Holsapple
at (505) 661-4806. NV
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