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Argonne Researchers go Extreme in Parallel

by on July 30, 2009

argonneOver at Argonne, researchers are setting new records for interactive visualization of large datasets with volume-renderings of 80-billion voxels from an astrophysics dataset.  What’s particularly surprising is that the entire process is being run distributed in parallel on the IBM Blue/Gene, without GPU Accelerators.

Argonne researchers wanted to know if they could improve performance by skipping the transfer to the GPUs and instead performing the visualizations right there on the supercomputer. They tested the technique on a set of astrophysics data and found that they could indeed increase the efficiency of the operation.

“We were able to scale up to large problem sizes of over 80 billion voxels per time step and generated images up to 16 megapixels,” said Tom Peterka, a postdoctoral appointee in Argonne’s Mathematics and Computer Science Division.

via Seeking efficiency, scientists run visualizations directly on supercomputers.