Army researchers acquire two new supercomputers

ADELPHI, Md. -- Army researchers are upgrading their computing capabilities with the acquisition of two new supercomputers.

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, now known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory is home to the Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Center, where computer scientists are welcoming the bi-annual technology refresh as part of the DOD High Performance Computing Modernization Program.

The two supercomputers, named Jean and Kay, recognize the remarkable achievements and enduring legacies of Jean Jennings Bartik and Kathleen “Kay” McNulty Mauchly, key contributors and computing pioneers as part of the original team of programmers of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, or ENIAC, the world’s first general purpose computer.

These systems will join the Betty system in the center’s production high-performance computing infrastructure. The Betty system is named in honor of Frances Elizabeth “Betty” (Snyder) Holberton, another key member of the original ENIAC programmer’s team.

The two systems are both Liqid Computing platforms containing 48 core Intel XEON (Cascade Lake Advanced Performance) processors integrated with the largest solid state file systems the DOD has deployed to date.

The systems are expected to enter production service in the mid-fiscal 2021 timeframe, and will join the center’s Centennial and Hellfire systems towards establishing a cumulative computational capability of 23.3petaflops.

“Jean and Kay will allow ARL to support many of DOD’s most significant modernization challenges to include digital engineering and other emerging workloads,” said ARL DSRC Director Matt Goss. “By adding specialized technology to augment traditional high performance computing with data analytics, these machines will serve as a spring board on which DOD scientists can make game changing discoveries.”

According to ARL computer scientist Bob Sheroke, these systems significantly enhance the program’s ability to support the DOD’s most demanding data-intensive computational challenges, and include emerging technologies and tools for artificial intelligence, data analytics and machine learning.

The systems include embedded capabilities to support persistent services in additional to traditional batch-oriented processing.

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