July 5, 2006: UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory participates in TeraGrid '06

Maxine Brown, associate director of the UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL), presented a paper on a major research initiative called "The OptIPuter," at the first annual TeraGrid conference, June 12-15, 2006, in Indianapolis. Luc Renambot, EVL research scientist, participated in a one-day tutorial on visualization. The gathering was a forum for individuals and institutions that use cyberinfrastructure to address the challenging computational problems facing our world.

The TeraGrid is a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded national "cyberinfrastructure" production-oriented distributed computing environment in support of science. The NSF-funded OptIPuter project is a research-oriented distributed computing environment. The OptIPuter is examining a new architecture in which distributed computational resources, or data generators -- such as the TeraGrid, instruments or data storage devices -- are tightly integrated over parallel optical networks, enabling scientists to interactively and visually explore massive amounts of previously uncorrelated data. The OptIPuter is an enabling technology for large-scale Federally-funded networked science facilities, as well as for broader societal needs, including emergency response, homeland security, health services, and science education.

OptIPuter research exploits a new world in which the central architectural element is optical networking, not computers. This transition is caused by the use of parallelism, as in supercomputing a decade ago. However, this time the parallelism is in multiple wavelengths of light, or lambdas, on single optical fibers, creating "supernetworks." Essentially, the OptIPuter is a virtual parallel computer in which the individual processors are distributed clusters; the memory is large distributed data repositories; peripherals are very-large scientific instruments, visualization displays and/or sensor arrays; and the motherboard uses standard IP delivered over multiple dedicated wavelengths of light that serve as the system bus or backplane.

The OptIPuter is a five-year, $13.5-million project funded by the National Science Foundation. The California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), a UCSD/UCI partnership, and the UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory lead the research team. Academic partners include the UCSD San Diego Supercomputer Center, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and School of Medicine; Northwestern University; San Diego State University; University of Southern California/Information Sciences Institute; University of California-Irvine; Texas A&M University; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign/National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Affiliate partners include the U.S. Geological Survey; NASA; University of Michigan; Purdue University; University of Amsterdam and SARA Computing and Network Services in The Netherlands; CANARIE and Communications Research Centre in Canada; the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI) in Korea; and, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan. Industrial partners include Big Bangwidth, Calient Networks, Chiaro Networks, Glimmerglass Networks, IBM, Lucent Technologies, Rincon Research Corporation, Sun Microsystems and Telcordia Technologies. For more information, see www.optiputer.net.

Brown's presentation abstract and Powerpoints are available on the TeraGrid '06 website. Her presentation was covered by NetworkWorld.com, CIO India and GRID Today.

Abstract: http://www.teragrid.org/events/2006conference/abstracts.html#tech_tues



TeraGrid '06: www.teragrid.org/events/2006conference

NetworkWorld.com: http://www.networkworld.com/news/2006/061506-optiputer.html

CIO India: http://www.cio.in/news/viewArticle/ARTICLEID=1607

GRID Today: http://www.gridtoday.com/grid/701815.html

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