National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center

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Franklin Cray XT4 supercomputer racks at NERSC facility.
Katherine Yelick, former Director of NERSC, in front of Hopper Cray XE6.

The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, or NERSC for short, is a designated user facility operated by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Department of Energy. It contains several cluster supercomputers, the largest of which is Hopper, which was ranked 5th on the TOP500 list of world's fastest supercomputers in November 2010 (19th as of November 2012). It is located in Oakland, California.


NERSC was founded in 1974 at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, then called the Controlled Thermonuclear Research Computer Center or CTRCC and consisting of a Control Data Corporation 6600 computer. Over time, it expanded to contain a CDC 7600, then a Cray-1 (SN-6) which was called the "c" machine, and in 1985 the world's first Cray-2 (SN-1) which was the "b" machine, nicknamed bubbles because of the bubbles visible in the fluid of its unique direct liquid cooling system. In the early eighties, CTRCC's name was changed to the National Magnetic Fusion Energy Computer Center or NMFECC. The name was again changed in the early nineties to National Energy Research Supercomputer Center. In 1996 NERSC moved from LLNL to LBNL. In 2000, it was moved to its current location in Oakland.

Computers and projects[edit]

NERSC's fastest computer, Hopper, is a Cray XE6 named in honor of Grace Hopper, a pioneer in the field of software development and programming languages and the creator of the first compiler. It has 153,308 Opteron processor cores and runs the Suse Linux operating system.

Other systems at NERSC are named Carver, Edison, Magellan, Dirac, Euclid, Tesla, Turing, and PDSF, the longest continually operating Linux cluster in the world. The facility also contains an 8.8 petabyte High Performance Storage System (HPSS) installation.

NERSC facilities are accessible through the Energy Sciences Network or ESnet, which was created and is managed by NERSC.

External links[edit]