Volume 12, Number 7 November 19, 2004

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Physics prof. putting new cluster of 128 computers to work in research

Physics Prof. KaoriTanaka

Physics Prof. KaoriTanaka shows off her recently acquired computer cluster, which combines 128 personal computers to create a "supercomputer" that can help her to understand extremely small, nanometre-sized superconductors.

Photo courtesy of Prof. Rob Pywell

U of S Physics assistant professor Kaori Tanaka, an NSERC University Faculty Award holder, has recently acquired a $400,000 “28-CPU PC” cluster comprised of 128 personal computers connected together.

All the computers can communicate with each other via an extremely fast connection, so that the whole cluster can be used as one large “supercomputer”.

Located in a computer science department facility in the Thorvaldson building, the cluster is a vital tool for Prof. Tanaka’s research, which aims to understand the novel properties of nanometer-sized superconductors and so-called high-temperature superconductors. High-temperature superconductors are used in a variety of applications such as medical imaging devices (MRI).

Tanaka’s research will also have a potential impact on nanotechnology.

Funding for the new equipment is from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (40 per cent), from the Saskatchewan government (40 per cent), and from U of S start-up funds (20 per cent).

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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