Maui High Performance Computing Center donates supercomputer to UH Hilo

University of Hawaiʻi
David Lassner, (808) 956-3501
UH Information Technology Services
Posted: Aug 15, 2006

HILO/ MAUI, HAWAIʻI — The Maui High Performance Computing Center (MHPCC) announced that its recently decommissioned IBM Netfinity Cluster supercomputer system is being donated to the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo to support high performance computing instruction and research. Known throughout the Department of Defense research community as "Huinalu", the IBM cluster was one of the 100 most powerful supercomputers in the world when first deployed at MHPCC just over five years ago.

The system is based on .933 GHz Intel Pentium III processors arranged in 128 two-processor nodes, each with 1GB of RAM and connected as a single system using the Myrinet interconnect. The system will be deployed at the UH-Hilo campus in the Computer Science Department's computer architecture lab headed by Dr. Sevki Erdogan. The system will be the first of its kind at the UH-Hilo campus and will provide approximately 254 GigaFLOPS (250 billion floating point operations per second) of raw computing power.

The donation takes place under the auspices of the Educational Partnership Agreement between the Air Force Research Laboratory‘s (AFRL) Directed Energy Directorate and the University of Hawaiʻi, which manages MHPCC for AFRL. Dr. David Lassner, UH Principal Investigator for MHPCC, commented "This donation provides UH-Hilo with a campus-based capability that would otherwise be unavailable while giving UH-Hilo students more educational opportunities that better prepare them for employment in Hawaiʻi‘s advanced scientific research community."

The donated supercomputer system was packed and shipped from Maui on August 7 and is expected to be in use at UH-Hilo by the end of August. MHPCC decommissioned Huinalu to make room for its newest high performance computing system, a 1,280 node platform from Dell that is expected to be available for first testing early in September. Gene Bal, executive director of MHPCC states, "We are very pleased to be in the position to provide this equipment to the university. This system will introduce UH — Hilo students and faculty to high performance computing and will be an excellent platform for use in many areas, including education, training, and research."

The new system will complement the existing resources at the UH - Hilo campus and will provide a core platform for students in graduate and undergraduate science and engineering programs to expand their knowledge of high performance computing architectures and programming techniques. "Our partnership with the University of Hawaiʻi has been very successful at MHPCC and we are glad to see that as we expand our own capabilities at MHPCC, the University can also benefit from our growth", noted Major Mike Pirtle, MHPCC AFRL Director.

Dr. Erdogan and his staff and students at the computer architecture lab on the UH-Hilo campus have been preparing the lab for the installation for over a month. Dr. Erdogan commented, "While we have had access to remote high performance computing before, the availability of these resources in our own lab creates tremendous new opportunities to support our education and research programs." Dr. Judith Gersting, chair of the UH-Hilo Computer Science Department, added "This support from MHPCC and the UH System is enabling us to expand more aggressively into high performance computing, one of the more dynamic areas of opportunity for our department."

About the Maui High Performance Computing Center (MHPCC)
The Maui High Performance Computing Center (MHPCC) is an Air Force Research Laboratory Center managed by the University of Hawaiʻi. MHPCC is an Allocated Distributed Center of the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program, providing more than 10,000,000 hours of computing time per year to the research, science, and warfighter communities. This customer-focused, world-class computational facility supports DoD‘s research and development, science and technology, and test and evaluation communities with some of the world‘s newest, scalable, parallel computers. MHPCC is a national resource chartered to support a diverse base of DoD and other government users, facilitating the collaborations needed to solve today's complex computational problems. For more information, see

About the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is a comprehensive, primarily baccalaureate institution on the island of Hawaii, offering a rigorous education in a caring, personalized atmosphere. The unique island environment of Hawaiʻi serves as a learning laboratory, the setting for many teaching, research, and service activities. UH-Hilo offers "hands-on" learning, service, and leadership opportunities and encourages close student-faculty interaction. UH-Hilo faculty are highly qualified, recognized experts in their disciplines, with advanced degrees in their respective areas. The richly diverse student population, made up of a unique blend of local, mainland and international students, live and learn together in a harmonious and safe environment. UH-Hilo has been ranked 9th nationwide for campus diversity and 14th nationwide for the most international students among 4-year liberal arts colleges. For more information, see

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