Skip to comments.BP Starts Building World's Biggest Commercial Research Computer
Posted on 12/07/2012 8:37:15 AM PST by thackney
BP has begun building a new supercomputing complex for commercial research that it claims will be the biggest in the world at its Westlake Campus in Houston, the company reported Friday.
The project is designed to keep BP at the forefront of seismic imaging technology and, the firm said, will be a critical tool in its global hunt for oil and natural gas in coming years.
The new High-Performance Computing (HPC) center, scheduled to open in mid-2013, will serve as a worldwide hub for processing and managing very large amounts of geological and seismic data from across BP's portfolio. It will enable scientists to produce clear images of rock structures that are deep underground.
BP said that the added computing power will help its teams to work more efficiently and accurately than ever before, reducing drilling risk and timetables of future exploration programs.
"This is not just about building a bigger and better computer," said BP Executive Vice President for Production Robert Fryar.
"BP's new high-performance computing center will be as important to our global search for new energy resources as any piece of equipment we employ today, and it once again highlights BP's commitment to applying the best technology to the world's biggest energy challenges."
BP's existing HPC center was the world's first commercial research center to achieve a petaFLOP of processing speed (or one thousand trillion calculations per second). But the company said that this has now reached maximum power and cooling capacity in its current space at the Westlake Campus.
The new center will be housed in a three-story, 110,000-square foot facility. Equipped with more than 67,000 CPUs, it is expected to have the ability to process data at a rate of up to two petaFLOPS.
Currently, the world's fastest supercomputer is the non-commercial Cray Titan which is used for scientific projects at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee and was built with funding from the US Department of Energy. The Titan has a processing speed of 17.59 petaFLOPS.
They’ll likely need it to keep up with all the rule changes and demands from the Obamites if they’re ever going to get any new drilling permits...
3 dimensional seismic processing requires a lot of processing power.
bigger than UNIVAC?
Texas Instruments was founded in Houston originally as a seismic data processing company back in the late thirties. I think its original name was Geological Services, Inc.
They got into electronics and then semiconductors and computers in order to support their seismic instrumentation.
Their last big computer was called the “ASC,” or the Advanced Scientific Computer. Advanced for its time (mid 70’s), but it did not succeed as a commercial product.
I was in a sister TI division at the time, programming their minicomputers for CAD systems. Here’s an ASC anecdote while I’m at it.
A TI sales exec was taking a potential customer through their ASC installation. The exec said “We’re really proud of this baby; solid as a tank,” as he thumped the cover panel.
Unfortunately, there was an exposed high-power bus bar very close behind the panel, and what ensued was a big bang, a shower of sparks, and a machine crash.
Interesting, I didn’t know the TI origination.