St. Petersburg Times Online: News of Florida
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
  • Former deputies get prison
  • FSU's newest recruit is an $8-million computer
  • Man mum on lottery profits
  • Lawyers seeking new trial for Blackthorne

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
  • Disabled want more handicapped-accessible voting machines
  • USF forces administrators to resign over test score changes
  • Man's death at Universal Studios ruled accidental
  • State child welfare workers in Miami fail to do background checks
  • Hurricane Jeanne heads toward southeast U.S. coast
  • Hurricane Jeanne spurs more anxiety for storm-weary Floridians
  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
  • Panhandle utility wants sewer plant moved to higher ground
  • State employee arrested on theft, bribery charges
  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
  • Pierson leader tries to cut off relief to local fern cutters
  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
  • Jacksonville students punished for putting stripper pole in dorm
  • FEMA handling nearly 600,000 applications for help
  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story
  • tampabay.com

    printer version

    FSU's newest recruit is an $8-million computer

    The most powerful university computer in the nation will help with forecasts and discoveries.

    By SHELBY OPPEL

    © St. Petersburg Times, published August 15, 2000


    TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State University has captured another No. 1 ranking, but this one has nothing to do with football or top-notch partying.

    FSU is now home to the most powerful supercomputer owned by any university in the United States, officials say.

    The $8-million IBM RS/6000 SP is expected to help researchers more accurately forecast and track hurricanes, forest fires and financial markets, and to speed discoveries about everything from genetics to robots.

    "It will make Florida State a national leader in the area of computational science and information technology," said university system Chancellor Adam Herbert, who joined Gov. Jeb Bush and FSU president Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte at a news conference Monday to announce the purchase.

    The supercomputer will produce hurricane forecasts 100 times more accurate than those now produced by FSU researchers, said Lawrence Abele, FSU's provost and vice president for academic affairs. Better forecasts mean more warning for residents in storm-prone areas, and more time to save lives and protect property.

    "Forecasting is not an exact science," Bush said. "With this computer, it will become more exact."

    The supercomputer is a descendant of "Deep Blue," the IBM computer that defeated chess master Garry Kasparov in 1997. It is capable of 2.5 "teraflops" -- computer-speak for 2.5-trillion calculations per second.

    In other words, the supercomputer can do in one second what it would take a person with an ordinary calculator 2-million years to perform, D'Alemberte said. It also will have enough memory to store the equivalent of more than five times the number of cataloged books in the Library of Congress.

    "I had to be taught (a teraflop) was not a gymnastics trick," D'Alemberte joked.

    The supercomputer will strengthen FSU's mission to be a world-class research university, Herbert said. The machine was bought with state funds and grants from the federal Department of Energy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    The supercomputer is a row of large, black rectangular frames that look like oversize refrigerators and are housed at Innovation Park in Tallahassee. The frames now hold 168 processors. By 2002, officials said, the frames will contain 680 processors and will give FSU more supercomputing power than any university in the world.

    Back to State news
    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
     
    Special Links
    Lucy Morgan


    From the Times state desk