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Wyoming Supercomputer Upgrade Will Make It One Of Top 25 Fastest In The World

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The National Center for Atmospheric Research Cheyenne supercomputer will be replaced and updated this year.

The new supercomputer will be 3.5 times faster than the old one. It will be able to perform almost 20 quadrillion calculations per second.

"Supercomputers differentiate themselves from regular computers like your laptop, let's say, or your phone in that it is an interconnected array of computers," said Richard Loft with the Computational and Systems Information Laboratory. "Not all that different typically than the ones you would find in those devices."

Loft said the upgrade will make the Cheyenne computer one of the top 25 fastest supercomputers in the world. Scientists will use the computer to study weather and climate.

"Some of the things we look at are extreme events, you know, hurricanes, tornadoes, hail storms, droughts, floods,' he said. "All of it kind of wrapped up in the general mission of trying to make life for regular human beings a little bit better."

He said University of Wyoming researchers will get about one seventh of the computer's time. Other computer time will go to NCAR scientists and universities throughout the country. It should begin operating by early 2022.

Have a question about this story? Please contact the reporter, Ashley Piccone, at apiccone@uwyo.edu.

Ashley is a PhD student in Astronomy and Physics at UW. She loves to communicate science and does so with WPM, on the Astrobites blog, and through outreach events. She was born in Colorado and got her BS in Engineering Physics at Colorado School of Mines. Ashley loves hiking and backpacking during Wyoming days and the clear starry skies at night!
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