Computerworld (12/08/08) Thibodeau, Patrick
Making supercomputing resources available to more companies could stimulate the U.S. economy by creating new jobs and products or services. The untapped economic benefits of high-performance computing (HPC) has led some U.S. universities and state governments to launch programs that provide companies with access to supercomputing systems and technical help. For example, the Ohio Supercomputer Center and the Edison Welding Institute (EWI) recently launched a beta program that gives welding engineers access to HPC capabilities through a Web-based interface. The welding engineers used the supercomputing capabilities to enter a wide variety of information on joining materials to create simulations that show how certain welds will work. EWI president Henry Cialone says the U.S. industry has only scratched the surface of HPC simulation and modeling, and that such efforts could greatly enhance the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing. Indiana University, Purdue University, and the state of Indiana also are working to make supercomputing more available and profitable by making 20 teraflops of computing capacity available to Indiana businesses. Indiana University CIO Brad Wheeler says offering supercomputing power to companies as a shared utility provides them with standardized software, a place to host their application code, and help with parallel programming. “We need to remember what made this country successful in terms of technology,” says Purdue CIO Gerry McCartney. “It was aggressive adoption of technology.”
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