The fastest supercomputer in the state: Big Red 200

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—Big Red 200, Indiana University's new artificial intelligence supercomputer, will be dedicated as part of IU's Bicentennial event, "A Day of Commemoration: IU's 200th Anniversary" on January 20, 2020. The ceremony will take place at 10am ET in the Cyberinfrastructure Building on the IU Bloomington campus. It is free and open to the public.

With this latest high-performance computing acquisition, IU is now home to the state of Indiana's fastest supercomputer. How fast is Big Red 200? It would take everyone in the state of Indiana more than 28 years—performing one calculation per second 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year—to perform the same number of calculations that Big Red 200 can do in just one second. It is almost 300 times faster than the original Big Red supercomputer from 15 years ago.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie will preside over Big Red 200's dedication, with additional remarks by:

  • Kay Connelly, associate dean for research, professor of informatics, IU Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering
  • Charles A. Morreale, senior vice president, field operations, Cray Inc.
  • Bradley C. Wheeler, vice president for IT and chief information officer, vice president for communications and marketing, Indiana University

The new supercomputer is the latest major milestone in IU's leadership in pushing the boundaries of computing to advance world-class research.

"I am excited about utilizing the AI capabilities of Big Red 200 to accelerate the research programs in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at the IU School of Medicine," said Distinguished Professor Tatiana Foroud, chair of the department. "I believe this new AI-capable supercomputer will enable breakthrough discoveries across a broad range of research areas, including neurodegeneration and the study of Alzheimer's disease.

"Importantly, Big Red 200 will be an essential resource for the Precision Health Initiative, one of the Indiana University Grand Challenges, which is designed to enhance the prevention, treatment and health outcomes of human diseases through a more precise analysis of the genetic, developmental, behavioral and environmental factors that shape an individual's health," Foroud said.

Big Red 200 will be the first of Cray's revolutionary new Shasta supercomputers installed anywhere in the world. Larger versions of these systems will be installed over the next few years at a number of the federal Department of Energy's laboratories as part of the Exascale Computing Project, which aims to develop the world's fastest supercomputers with Exascale speeds in excess of 1018 calculations per second.

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