The state and the University of Illinois have unveiled the Blue Waters supercomputer. Illinois invested $60 million to house the computer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While the state funded the housing of the computer in the Petascale Computing Facility, the National Science Foundation funded the purchase of the computer, investing $350 million to purchase the hardware, to pay for the support services, to power and cool the computer and to provide a staff to support the system.
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The computer should aid the university in research. “Blue Waters is a truly extraordinary computing system that will enable the nation’s researchers, as well as our innovative companies, to achieve breakthroughs in a broad range of science and engineering,” said Thom Dunning, director of the university’s National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
Blue Waters completes quadrillions of calculations every second and is designed to help researchers find insight buried in large quantities of data. The applications will help in the areas of astronomy, physics, chemistry and engineering.