Scientists in the McWilliams Center use the McWilliams Center eScience video facility, to visualize massive cosmological datasets, both from survey telescope observations and from simulations. The facility is a high resolution LCD video wall, 10 feet wide by 4 feet high, with a 6.3 million pixel display. The system will has a rack-mounted, PC with a special graphics card (Nvidia Quadro FX 1800) that can handle the full resolution of the wall.
Parallel computer facilities play an important role in the research carried out at the Center. At present there are 3 separate parallel Linux clusters physically located in the Center. Two clusters are 32 core systems installed in 2006 and 2007. The third and most recent, Ferrari, was installed in 2008 and is on the right in the photograph below. It consists of 132 cores (33 quad core Intel processors, donated by Intel) , with 256 GB total RAM and connected with Gigabit ethernet. Other computer facilities include a single (quad core) node analysis machine with 32 GB RAM. At present, a total of 40 TB of disk storage is available.
For more on the Ferrari cluster and its status, see: http://ferrari.phys.cmu.edu
In Fall 2008, our in-house supercomputing capacity increased dramatically with commissioning of a ~1000 core cluster from a grant from the Moore foundation. The cluster has very fast (20 Gb/s) interconnects and is shared with the Computer Graphics group in the Department of Computer Science.