Pingo is now in production


The newest supercomputer at the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center, a Cray XT5 named Pingo , went into production on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009. Pingo arrived at ARSC last fall. Since then, high performance computing (HPC) specialists at ARSC and a select group of ARSC's HPC users have conducted extensive capability tests, application system testing and benchmarking as part of the complicated installation process required to bring a new supercomputer online.

Pingo provides approximately 31.8 theoretical peak teraflops of computing power and has 3,456 processor cores on 432 nodes. It has 13.5 terabytes of memory and 150 terabytes of shared high-speed storage. ARSC is the sole provider of open research computing capabilities for the Defense Department’s High Performance Computing Modernization Program. HPCMP has six DoD Supercomputing Resource Centers throughout the country: two in Mississippi and one each in Maryland, Ohio, Alaska and Hawaii.

Supercomputing resources at ARSC are used by a global community of researchers, within the U.S. Defense Department, the University of Alaska and other locations to advance scientific discovery for national competitiveness, global security and economic success. Projects include study of the world's oceans, which include creating models that predict the force and direction of tsunami waves, the impact of changes to the marine ecosystem on the Alaska fishing industry or the potential for ice-free summers in the Arctic.

Pingo will also allow ARSC to expand studies of atmospheric phenomena to include modeling the influence of weather on volcanic ash transport, which has an immediate impact on aircraft flying northern polar routes and the health and safety of those on the ground. ARSC is also developing tools for Arctic-specific, high-resolution weather forecasting to include smoke dispersion from wild land fires, as well as the impact of wildfires on the global climate.

ARSC has a history of naming supercomputing systems with Arctic themes. A pingo is an earth-covered ice hill formed by the upward expansion of underground ice. Pingos tend to form in permafrost environments and can reach a height of up to 230 feet.

Arctic Region Supercomputing Center PO Box 756020, Fairbanks, AK 99775 | voice: 907-450-8600 | email:

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