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AMD announced that the University of Utah has selected AMD Opteron processor-based systems from Angstrom Microsystems for a new supercomputing cluster scheduled to be delivered by October 2003. The 500-node cluster is designed to use 1000 AMD Opteron processors and is part of the University’s plan to provide the vast computational power needed in its biomedical research.

The cluster, code named “Arches”, will enable advanced genetic and biomedical research. Research activities are expected to include working to identify the causes of inherited cancers and other diseases attributed to multiple genes. Researchers are also expected to use Arches for looking at how the body absorbs drugs in an effort to improve treatment of various ailments. The cluster, which is expected to be the largest computer in the state of Utah for scientific research will be the combined product of five clusters comprised of varying numbers of nodes and processors.

To develop the Arches cluster, the Center for High Performance Computing at the University of Utah received a grant from the National Institute of Health’s National Center for Research Resources. The cluster will be built with the AMD Opteron processor-based Angstrom Titan64 Superblades.

Even though there may be faster processors on the market in terms of performance, it looks like AMD Opteron holds a very good price : performance ratio for cluster applications, since the Sunnyvale, California-based semiconductor company has been seeing loads of design wins of its server x86-64 chip this year.

AMD has not provided any additional information on the clusters, such as specifications, CPU clock-speeds and so on.

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