Tuesday, March 20, 2001
Boeing's Delta IV Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle is a serious
rocket. Scheduled to launch first in 2002, it will have the power to pull
payloads of 29,000 lbs, allowing scientists to place larger satellites into
But when Boeing tried to run CFD simulations on the Delta IV (www.boeing.com/defense-space/space/delta/delta4/delta4.htm),
it quickly realized that it couldn't run the complex applications on dinky
little desktops. A problem of such complexity demanded unprecedented computation
power. So they broke out the big guns.
Boeing implemented a Linux supercomputer powered by 96 AMD
Athlon(TM) processors (www.amd.com). Located at
the company's Space and Communications Div. in Huntington Beach, CA, the
supercomputer was developed by Linux NetworX (Sandy, UT, www.linuxnetworx.com), a company which
uses cluster technology to link multiple computers through high-speed networks
and form a single, scalable system. It uses software called ClusterWorX(R) to
manage all those processors, in a similar manner to how the company has created
"Beowulf" clusters for other applications in the past.