DOD acquires five supercomputers

The Defense Department's High Performance Computing Modernization Program has awarded a $40 million contract to purchase five high-performance computers and support services for its research and development centers.

HPCMP was created in 1992 to boost the high-performance computational capabilities of the Defense Department, so more advanced simulation, testing and modeling work can be carried out by the agency.

The Pentagon awarded the contract to Silicon Graphics (SGI) as part of DOD's Technology Insertion 2009 program. A total of seven contracts were awarded; six were awarded to SGI. IBM won the seventh award, according to a HPCMP spokesperson.

SGI will install SGI Altix ICE 8200 systems at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., and the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Miss. These systems will use next-generation Intel Xeon processors, codenamed Nehalem, and SGl InfiniteStorage 4600 units.  The InfiniteStorage units will use Engenio 1333 storage modules, from LSI Corp.

SGI plans to have the systems in place and running by Sept. 15.

The company also will provide systems to the SGI Altix ICE 8200 systems to the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, and the Arnold Engineering Development Center at Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee.

Finally, the company will supply the Altix 4700 system to the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Bethesda, Md.

"To achieve breakthroughs in designing and testing next-generation materials and weapons systems, DOD researchers require high-performance systems that are scalable and reliable," said Cray Henry, director of the HPCMP, in a statement.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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