Georgia Tech Announces High-Performance Computing Resource for Coda Building

IDEaS-led Team Receives MRI Award from NSF

An interdisciplinary team led by GT Computing Professor Srinivas Aluru (third from left) was pivotal in securing NSF funding for a new high-performance computer to be built at Georgia Tech.

Georgia Tech has received an award for $3.7 million from the National Science Foundation to cover 70 percent of the cost of a new high-performance computing (HPC) resource that will be established at the Coda building at Tech Square, which is set to open next spring.

The new $5.3 million HPC system will support data-driven research in astrophysics, computational biology, health sciences, computational chemistry, materials and manufacturing, and other disciplines. It will be used for research that improves energy efficiency and performance for its and other HPC systems. 

The effort was led by Georgia Tech College of Computing Professor Srinivas Aluru, co-executive director of the Institute for Data Engineering and Science (IDEaS) and professor in the School of Computational Science and Engineering (School of CSE).

“This project is exciting from many perspectives, but especially how it is pushing forward data and high-performance computing research infrastructure at Georgia Tech,” said Aluru. “It reflects the teamwork of dozens of faculty, and also supports the work of over 50 research scientists and 200 graduate students.”

Coda building rendering

Coda will house several Georgia Tech units, including the School of Computational Science and Engineering.

Also central to the award are:

  • ‚ÄčRich Vuduc, associate professor in the School of CSE
  • Surya Kalidindi, professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
  • Charles David Sherrill, professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Deirdre Shoemaker, professor in the School of Physics
  • Marilyn Wolf, professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Rhesa "Ray" S. Farmer, Jr. Distinguished Chair in Embedded Computing Systems.

Coda's 80,000-square-foot data center will house the new HPC system, which is scheduled to be operational in 2019. Several national big data research initiatives including the National Strategic Computing Initiative, the Materials Genome Initiative, and NSF-supported observatories, such as the South Pole neutrino observatory known as IceCube, will leverage the new HPC resource at Georgia Tech.

“This award is a major boon for interdisciplinary research at Georgia Tech, one that will also be a valuable addition to the HPC-based research community nationally. With Coda opening its doors soon, this supercomputer will become the premier computing resource at Georgia Tech,” said Executive Vice President for Research Chaouki Abdallah.

The School of CSE, IDEaS, and many other users of the new equipment will move into the Coda building when it opens. System management will be handled by the Partnership for an Advanced Computing Environment, also residing in Coda.

One-fifth of the system's capacity will be dedicated to the research activities of regional partners including historically black colleges and universities, and other institutions with students primarily from underserved communities. Other users can participate through XSEDE, a national network of NSF supercomputers that scientists use to interactively share computing resources, data, and expertise.

“High-performance computing is a priority for Georgia Tech. Data analysis, simulations, and computational predictive tools are essential elements of modern science, engineering, and design. High-performance computing is the laboratory of the 21st century,” said Rafael L. Bras, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs and K. Harrison Brown Family Chair. “It is extremely satisfying to see a multidisciplinary team successfully work together to make this acquisition a reality. That, after all, is the spirit and culture of Coda.”


Dr. JF Salazar