UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS
This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). It supports a project to explore the use of alternative technologies, such as the Sony Playstation 3 gaming console, multimedia workstations and similar hardware for scientific computing. The key aspect of these technologies is that they use a processor that is based on a hybrid approach --- using elements from both traditional CPUs and GPUs. If successful, the hybrid approach would yield a significantly higher cost effectiveness (measured as performance-per-dollar and performance-per-watt) compared with traditional Beowulf compute clusters. More specifically, the project will focus on investigating the performance of such hardware for projects in numerical relativity and (LIGO) data analysis. Preliminary work that has been performed in this direction by the PI has yielded very promising results. If such clusters yield these benefits, searches of LIGO data and simulations of gravitational wave sources could move into computer intensive regimes not now possible and also yield benefits for cluster computing and scientific computing, in general. Undergraduate and graduate students will participate in the project. The PI will participate in outreach activities aimed at promoting science awareness and public knowledge on current scientific research.