New Supercomputer to Arrive in Fairbanks

Fairbanks, Alaska A new supercomputer with 16 times the processing speed, four times the disk space and four times the memory of its predecessor is scheduled to arrive at the University of Alaska Fairbanks this Thursday. The new machine will provide increased processing power to the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center's (ARSC) many academic and Department of Defense researchers.

ARSC has purchased a $3 million 32-processor Cray SV1 supercomputer with enhancements scheduled over the next two years. The agreement includes an option to acquire a next generation Cray SV2 system, due out during the second half of 2002. Installation of the new computer, to be named Chilkoot after the Cray J90 it is replacing, will be complete by the end of September.

"Our current Cray J90 is overwhelmed with our researchers' huge computational problems," said Barbara Horner-Miller, ARSC's associate director. "The Cray SV1 will provide additional computational cycles that are needed by both our academic and Department of Defense researchers."

The Cray SV1 system will support applications such as climate forecasting models which examine ice-ocean-atmosphere-land interactions, models of global surface air temperature trends, space physics, permafrost engineering and determination of soil moisture in remote locations using satellite data.

"The Cray SV1 is essential for our growing user base and accelerating progress on massive applications that absorb as much speed and memory as we can deliver," said Dr. Frank Williams, ARSC's director.

The new Cray SV1 supercomputer will be installed in three phases at the ARSC facility on the University of Alaska Fairbanks' main campus. Phase one includes the delivery of a new Cray SV1 computer chassis, Cray SV1 central processing units (CPUs) and memory, and networking and peripheral equipment. Phase two, in the first quarter of 2001, will upgrade the system to faster CPUs. In the second quarter 2001, phase three will upgrade the system to larger, faster memory.

"ARSC is excited to bring this new system on line," said Williams. "We look forward to continuing our system upgrades in an effort to keep state-of-the-art technology available to our users."


CONTACT: Jenn Wagaman, ARSC Publications Specialist, voice: (907)450-8662, email:

Steve Conway, Cray Inc., voice: (651)683-7133, email:

David Barnard, CFA, Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates, voice: (415)433-3777, email:


Back to Top