HiPerGator, Florida’s most powerful computer, to be unveiled Tuesday

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Here’s a big number: 150 trillion calculations per second, or in human terms, what Florida’s most powerful supercomputer is capable of.  HiPerGator, the Unviersity of Florida’s most recent innovation, will be unveiled Tuesday, May 7.

HiPerGator is housed in a $14 million, 25,000-square-foot building on UF’s Eastside Campus, and has been in planning and development since 2004 when UF started a task force to determine high-performance computing needs for research.

The installation makes UF one of the nation’s top public universities in research computing infrastructure, making possible the acceleration of research across industry sectors including projects on life-saving drugs, weather and climate, and the analysis of materials to produce better body armor for our troops. 

For example, HiPerGator will be used to research which compounds best match with human proteins to work with the fewest side effects.  While it would take several years to do this with a trial-and-error approach, the supercomputer can screen 140,000 compounds in eight hours — enabling UF researchers to run thousands of combinations in just a few weeks.

The HiPerGator, built by Dell, will be used by 500 researchers and will support $161 million in annual research grants. It is expected that HiPerGator will provide computer brain power to UF for the nxt 40 years.

To place 150 trillion calculations in context to speed, if each calculation were a word, HiPerGator could read the millions of library volumes shelves several hundred times in one day.

To place HiPerGator in context to other processors of its sort, an equivalent supercomputer at Ohio State ranked 11th among US academic institutions when it was installed in 2012.

According to the UF Data Center, HiPerGator will also “keep UF in the forefront of inquiry into the origin of the universe.”

That’s big stuff. But they had me at HiPerGator.

Check it out Tuesday at 4:30 pm at 2008 NE Waldo Road, Gainesville.  For more info, contact Chris Moran, director of communications, at chrismoran@ufl.edu or 352-846-3903 (office) or 713-906-0525 (cell).