NSF OKs computing grid

The National Science Foundation on Aug. 9 approved a $53 million program to develop the world's largest computing grid dedicated to supporting open scientific research.

Four research centers will work primarily with IBM Corp., Qwest Communications International Inc. and Intel Corp. to build the Distributed Terascale Facility (DTF).

A high-speed "teragrid" network will connect the centers and enable scientists and researchers across the country—and eventually around the world—to share resources, scan remote databases, run applications on geographically dispersed computers and view complex computer simulations in real time from multiple locations.

The four centers that will make up the DTF are the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego; Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill.; and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

When operational next year, the DTF network will be 16 times faster than the fastest high-speed research network available today.

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