One of the smartest and fastest research computers in the world has come to live in Pittsburgh.
Aptly named Sherlock after the British private eye known for his razor-sharp reasoning, the high-performance computer will be unveiled this week at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. It’s the only computer of its kind open to the national research community.
“In broad terms, Sherlock brings a really unique way of solving problems to the region and to the country,” says Nick Nystrom, director of strategic applications. “It will enable people to do things that they can’t do any other way.”
Sherlock, which has 1 terabyte of memory and supports up to to 512 terabytes of global memory, will allow scientists and industries to sift through large-scale data sets and unlock new relationships and hidden patterns buried in complex bodies of information, assisting researchers in the sciences, medicine, health care, cyber security, social sciences and economics.
Sherlock can leap beyond the memory wall with 128-thread computing power. The massive multi-threading means Sherlock can power ahead faster without having to double back to the memory wall for information retrieval. The typical desktop computer runs only one or two threads at a time, Nystrom says.
The PSC is a joint effort of CMU and the University of Pittsburgh together with Westinghouse Electric Co. Sherlock was funded through the Strategic Technologies for Cyberinfrastructure program of the National Science Foundation.
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Nick Nystrom, PSC