UT’s Innovative Computing Laboratory received even more acclaim recently as software giant Intel named it the latest Intel Parallel Computing Center.
The ICL, part of the College of Engineering, joins thirty-nine other such centers around the world at leading institutions including Harvard University, Stanford University, and the University of Edinburgh. Each location is focused on a different aspect of high-end computing.
ICL joins the Joint Institute for Computational Sciences , a UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory partnership, as an Intel center, placing UT in the elite status of having two such centers.
“We are thrilled to be selected as an Intel Parallel Computing Center,” said Jack Dongarra, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the director of the ICL.
“It validates the work we continue to do, but it also allows us to tackle some of the biggest challenges out there.”
As opposed to typical computer processing, parallel computing takes a big process and breaks it into several smaller parts that can be run or solved simultaneously. Having them run at the same time—that is, in parallel—speeds up overall processing.
For UT, the focus is on the development of numerical linear algebra libraries and technologies, and their optimization for applications.
In nontechnical terms, that means speeding up how quickly a computer runs a task by making it more efficiently process data.
The ICL team will also look at certain challenges with current high-end processors in use by Intel.
By working through boundaries on the current technology, Dongarra’s team could influence and improve everything from health services to finance.
“In the next decade or so people will be using systems that are much more complex and use much more processing than we have now,” said Dongarra. “However, increasing computing power will only go so far. We have to find new ways to do things, and the kind of research we’re doing focuses on that.”
As part of the selection, UT will receive $75,000 a year in funding while Intel will be privy to the breakthroughs made in the lab.
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