Danville, VA – It is big news for the City of Danville. Governor McDonnell announced Thursday morning that the city will be home to the first supercomputer in the country that won't be connected to a federal lab or university.
A company called Noblis will invest $2.5 million to establish the Center for Applied High Performance Computing in Old Belt number one warehouse on Bridge Street.
The center will buy the first next-generation Cray XMT supercomputer outside a U.S. federal lab or university. It will be used to solve complex problems requiring access to large amounts of data.
Some of its goals are to help solve issues of national importance, create more high tech jobs for the country, and ultimately, attract new high tech companies to Danville.
Noblis works in the areas, including national security, transportation, health care, environmental sustainability, and enterprise services. Cray sells and provides technical support for supercomputers.
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell today announced that Noblis, a nonprofit science, technology and strategy organization that helps clients solve complex scientific, systems, process, and infrastructure problems in ways that benefit the public, and Cray Inc., a global leader in supercomputing, will invest $2.5 million to establish the Center for Applied High Performance Computing (CAHPC) in the City of Danville.
The CAHPC will be a world-class center for high-performance computing that accelerates the development and commercialization of applications requiring graph analytics for the benefit of the U.S. The Center will purchase the first next-generation Cray XMT supercomputer in the U.S. outside of a federal laboratory or academia. CAHPC will use this high-performance computer to solve complex problems requiring access to large amounts of data.
The mission of the Center is to:
· Promote the development of high-performance applications to solve problems of national importance
· Enable U.S. competitiveness and create sustainable high-tech jobs
· Enable small businesses to innovate using high performance computing (HPC) capabilities
· Train the next generation of developers to create new HPC applications
· Promote interoperability of HPC architectures and middleware and enhance access to legacy systems and data
· Reduce the cost barriers to entry to HPC
One of the goals of the Center is to draw other high-tech companies to the Danville area and help revitalize the economy. The project will create 15 new jobs, paying significantly above the average prevailing wage in Danville.
"This kind of high-performance technology research center is truly transformational for the City of Danville and the Commonwealth of Virginia," said Governor McDonnell. "As the only non-federal lab or university to house a next-generation Cray XMT, CAHPC will enable businesses in the public and private sector to solve very complex national problems. In addition, it will serve as a training center for the next generation of developers who will build new High Performance Computing applications. This announcement represents a significant step toward continuing the support of technology research and development in Virginia, and will likely attract other technology companies to do the same. CAHPC is truly the first of its kind, and we are thrilled that Noblis found a willing partner in Danville and in Virginia."
"As a business model, CAHPC is designed to expand Virginia's high-tech economic base," said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. "As a result, we will increase the quality of jobs, the number of Virginia companies working in HPC, and thus increase the number of Virginia sectors using HPC. An endeavor of this kind will continue to place the Commonwealth on the map for high-technology innovation."
A nonprofit science, technology and strategy organization, Noblis brings the best of scientific thought, management, and engineering know-how in an environment of independence and objectivity to find solutions that are practical, forward thinking, and sustainable. Noblis works in essential areas, including national security, transportation, healthcare, environmental sustainability, and enterprise services.
"We are excited to be a part of this dynamic partnership," said H. Gilbert Miller, Corporate Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Noblis. "The Center will provide unprecedented access to supercomputing in the private sector. We believe that this amazing cross section of innovation and technology will help achieve new breakthroughs in high-performance computing and drive future progress."
As a global leader in supercomputing, Cray provides highly-advanced supercomputers and world-class services and support to government, industry and academia.
Peter J. Ungaro, Cray President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We believe that establishing the Center for Applied High Performance Computing is an important step toward building solutions for the integration of big data into the high performance computing environment. Cray is excited to be a part of this important initiative, and we look forward to a collaborative partnership that will leverage new technologies, such as the next-generation Cray XMT system, to implement solutions in areas that are not tractable today."
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Danville to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McDonnell approved a $1 million grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Danville with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved a $3 million grant to help establish the Center.
Virginia State Delegate and Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission member Danny Marshall, noted, "This Center continues the Commission's planned revitalization of the Southern Virginia Region in a manner that brings critical high-quality, high-technology jobs to the Commonwealth and the region."
Danville Mayor Sherman Saunders said, "We are very pleased that Noblis has chosen Danville, and, more specifically, the River District, for their supercomputer operation. Noblis will be joining other technology companies and educational institutions, such as Luna Nanoworks, Lifebatt, Infinity Global Packaging, Horizontech, and Averett University that have invested in the River District. Noblis is a well-known name in science and technology, and their presence in Danville will help bring other technology companies that will further transform our region."