LSU Center
for Applied Information Technology and Learning
SuperMike:  LSU's World-class Supercomputer
2.207 TeraFlops
2nd Fastest Computer among Academic Institutions Worldwide



In an effort to significantly enhance the high-performance-computing resources that are available to Louisiana's students and academic researchers in various subfields of information technology, LSU has acquired through Atipa Technologies a Beowulf-class supercomputer with 1,024 Intel® 1.8 GHz Xeon DP processors that are tightly coupled through Myricom's myrinet network. The system contains 1 Terabyte of RAM and more than 40 Terabytes of disk storage. It has been christened, "SuperMike" (

According to the standard HPL ( High Performance Computing Linpack) benchmark that is used to rank the performance of supercomputers worldwide, "SuperMike" clocks at 2.207 TeraFlops; that is, it performs over 2 trillion floating point operations every second. At the end of August, 2002, when this benchmark result was submitted to for verification, it became clear that LSU had acquired the 11th fastest supercomputer in the world! Among academic institutions worldwide, LSU's new system ranks second only to a system that resides at the federally funded, Pittsburgh Supercomputer Center. And, according to the September, 2002 Top500 listing of installed clusters, SuperMike ranks 1st in the world!

"SuperMike" is a general-purpose, parallel supercomputer that can be used to help solve a wide variety of challenging science and engineering problems. Key areas of research that will immediately be taking advantage of SuperMike's computational prowess include:

  • Modeling of coastal erosion and storm damage by researchers in LSU's Hurricane Center
  • Modeling the structure and behavior of complex molecules that are of interest to the local petrochemical industry
  • Modeling the merger of binary black holes, to complement ongoing experimental astrophysics activities at LIGO, in Livingston Parish
  • Modeling of cooling flows in advanced gas turbine engines by TIER (The Center for Turbine Innovation & Research)
  • Modeling the interaction of protein structure and function with sequence variations in living organisms by LSU's genomics group

"SuperMike" was acquired by LSU's Center for Applied Information Technology and Learning (LSU CAPITAL) through funds that were appropriated by the Louisiana legislature during the 2001-02 fiscal year as part of Governor M. J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.'s new Information Technology initiative.

Vendor: Atipa Technologies
512 nodes: Each with dual Intel® 1.8 GHz Xeon DP processors
(Utilizing the new E7500 "Plumas" chipset)
Mounted on a Tyan "Thunder i7500" motherboard
Each with 2 GBytes RAM (i.e., 1 TeraByte total)
Each with 80 GBytes IDE 7200RPM HDD
Interconnect: Myricom's Myrinet network
and Fast Ethernet
OS: Red Hat Linux 7.2
Benchmark: In August, 2002, we completed our first set of HPL benchmark runs on SuperMike. As reported to the aggregate, 1,024-processor system clocks at 2.207 TeraFlops.
Ranking: In August, 2002, when we first reported the results of our HPL benchmark run, SuperMike was ranked as the 11th fastest supercomputer in the world. Among academic institutions worldwide, SuperMike was ranked 2nd.
Delivery: Most of the hardware for the system was delivered to LSU by Atipa Technologies in May, 2002. By August, 2002, the aggregate system was fully operational.
Location: SuperMike is housed on the 1st floor of Fred C. Frey Hall on the LSU campus, and operated in conjunction with the High-Performance-Computing Group of LSU's Office of Computing Services.

(August 2002) SuperMike up and running in Frey Computing Services Center at LSU
1/3 of compute nodes Myrinet network 2 of 3 rows Middle row

(April 2002) LSU Cluster being built at Atipa in Lawrence, Kansas



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