New Lonestar Supercomputer Expands UNT Computing Capabilities

New Lonestar Supercomputer Expands UNT Computing Capabilities

UNT Diving Eagle
November 1, 2021
server room

A new supercomputer for Texas researchers, launched recently, will allow scholars at UNT to compute and compete at the cutting edge of science and engineering.

Lonestar6, a Dell Technologies and AMD system designed and deployed by the Texas Advanced Computing Center at The University of Texas at Austin, will be able to perform roughly three quadrillion operations per second — or in high performance terminology, three petaFLOPS. To match what Lonestar 6 will compute in just one second, a person would have to do one calculation every second for 100 million years.

When fully deployed this fall, Lonestar6 will be the seventh fastest supercomputer at a U.S. university and three times more powerful as the Lonestar5 system that it replaces.

In December 2020, the University of Texas Board of Regents approved $8.4 million to TACC to support the evolution of the highly successful University of Texas Research Cyberinfrastructure initiative. Several Texas academic institutions jointly ­contributed $2 million to the project. These include: the University of North Texas System, The Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, the Center for Space Research (both based at UT Austin), Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University. These partnerships will allow researchers from each institution to use UTRC resources and their involvement will allow TACC to build more enhanced supercomputers for shared use.

“This collaboration will have extraordinary long-term impacts for research at UNT,” says Mark McLellan, vice president of UNT’s Division of Research and Innovation. “It creates exciting opportunities for innovative and impactful research outcomes. Working with TACC will allow UNT’s research teams to effectively address a range of pressing global challenges.”

The funding will also support a new high-performance data storage and archival system at TACC. This system will store, protect and share high-value datasets from protected cancer patient data to the astronomy data from the collapsed Arecibo telescope. The new system, known as Corral, will include 41 petabytes of usable capacity and will support the fast transfer of data into and out of Lonestar6.

“A key component of UTRC’s support for research since 2018 is support for secure storage and computation for research data subject to special privacy or confidentiality protections,” says Chris Jordan, TACC data management and collections manager Chris Jordan. “This has allowed TACC to expand support for medical, bioinformatics and social science research activities across Texas institutions, including support for COVID-19 research.”