- Troy, NY USA

Center for Computational Innovations

Rensselaer at Petascale

Solving problems for next generation basic and applied science and engineering research through the use of massively parallel computation and data analytics.

Center for Computational Innovations (CCI)

Founded in 2007, Rensselaer's Center for Computational Innovations (CCI) is housed in a 22,000 square foot facility at the Rensselaer Technology Park. It includes a 4,500 square foot machine room, offices and space for industry visitors. The CCI operates heterogeneous supercomputing systems consisting of massively parallel IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer and Intel Xeon processor-based clusters. The computational power of the current hardware configuration is rated at over 1 PF peak. These systems are supported by over a petabyte of disk storage. The CCI has dedicated high-speed connections to the main campus with up to 32 fiber lines available for growth as well as a direct connection to the NYSERNet optical infrastructure and Internet2 that provides access to the national and international high-speed networks.

The CCI Computational facilities include:

  • "AMOS" Blue Gene/Q: 5 racks (5K nodes, 80K cores) with 80 TB of RAM total and 160 I/O nodes.
  • Large-memory, Intel Xeon Cluster: 32 nodes, 8-way Xeon processors with 256 GB of RAM each.
  • Medium-memory, Intel Xeon Cluster: 64 nodes, 16-way Xeon processors with 128 GB of RAM each.
  • Parallel Storage: 2.1 petabytes disk storage over IBM Spectrum Scale parallel file system.
  • Network: 384-port non-blocking 56Gbps/FDR Mellanox Infiniband interconnect.

Additionally, the CCI hosts the IBM TrueNorth neuromorphic processor and software development kit. This brain-like processor has 4,096 cores, each one simulating 256 programmable "neurons" for a total of just over 1M neurons. Each neuron has 256 programmable "synapses" that carry the signals between neurons. In total the chip has over 256M programmable synapses. The unique capability of this processor is its ability to process neural network programs in real-time (e.g., image classification computations) while consuming only 65 milliwatts of power, making it 10,000 times more power efficient than conventional von-Neumann processors. One of the central strengths of CCI is the flexibility in terms of how we engage with our industry partners, such as IBM. For example, export controlled and corporate confidential software is able to execute at the CCI