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IDF 2012: New supercomputer powered by Xeon Phi

Although Larrabee technology never became the 3D graphics solution that it was expected to be, Intel has never been the type of company to throw away years of research and development. Earlier this year Intel announced the Xeon Phi (Knights Corner) coprocessor, based on the Larrabee architecture, and it immediately sparked massive interest in the high performance computing arena.

Jay Boisseau, Director at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), took the stage at IDF to talk about Stampede – a new Petascale supercomputer built on Xeon E5 and Xeon Phi technology. Stampede is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and built by the TACC in collaboration with Intel and Dell.

Stampede will provide 10 petaflops of computing power to the Open Science community, meaning that it will be used for innumerable projects from studying climate change to developing flu vaccines. And since Xeon Phi’s Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture is x86 based, it should be easier to port to.

Stampede is due to go online 07 January 2013, but even in it’s current state it would rank third in the list of top 500 supercomputers. That bodes pretty well for the project and Intel’s MIC technology that’s driving it.