|Operators||Argonne National Laboratory|
|Ranking||TOP500: 5, 2013-06|
|Purpose||Cosmology, Astronomy, lattice quantum chromodynamics, Nuclear reactor engineering, Material science, Weather, Climatology, Seismology, Biology, Computational chemistry, Computer science|
Mira is a petascale Blue Gene/Q supercomputer. As of June 2013, it is listed on TOP500 as the fifth-fastest supercomputer in the world. It has a performance of 8.16 petaflops and consumes 3.9 MW. The supercomputer was constructed by IBM for Argonne National Laboratory's Argonne Leadership Computing Facility with the support of the United States Department of Energy, and partially funded by the National Science Foundation. Mira will be used for scientific research, including studies in the fields of material science, climatology, seismology, and computational chemistry. The supercomputer is being utilized initially for sixteen projects, selected by the Department of Energy.
The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, which commissioned the supercomputer, was established by the America COMPETES Act, signed by President Bush in 2007, and President Obama in 2011. The United States' emphasis on supercomputing has been seen as a response to China's progress in the field. China's Tianhe-1A, located at the Tianjin National Supercomputer Center, was ranked the most powerful supercomputer in the world from October 2010 to June 2011. Mira is, along with IBM Sequoia and the upcoming Blue Waters, one of three American petascale supercomputers deployed in 2012.
The cost for building Mira has not been released by IBM. Early reports estimated that construction would cost US$50 million, and Argonne National Laboratory announced that Mira was bought using money from a grant of US$180 million. In a press release, IBM marketed the supercomputer's speed, claiming that "if every man, woman and child in the United States performed one calculation each second, it would take them almost a year to do as many calculations as Mira will do in one second".
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- Mira press release by Argonne National Laboratory