The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s (UIUC) National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) has expanded its Radiant supercomputer.

The organization this week announced it has installed additional graphics processing units (GPUs) to its private cloud Radiant system.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's National Center for Supercomputing Applications – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | National Center for Supercomputing Applications

The GPUs were acquired thanks to a funding commitment of $50 million from UIUC and the University of Illinois System. Additional GPU servers will help the university better support artificial intelligence and simulation efforts by its researchers.

Launched in 2021, Radiant is a virtualized system offering flexible and scalable computing. Acting like a private cloud, researchers can create virtual machines as small as 1 vCPU with 2GB RAM, and the system allows individuals to max out at 32 vCPUs and 64GB RAM.

According to the NCSA website, the system is comprised of 100 Intel Xeon nodes and six A100-80 GPU nodes. It’s unclear but unlikely if this figure includes the newest GPU additions.

“We’re thrilled to support the early success of the Illinois Compute Research Notebooks program with these additional GPUs on Radiant. We’ve seen a lot of demand and very positive feedback from ICRN users thus far, and we want to take advantage of that momentum by expanding its availability and strengthening its integration with other computing systems,” said Bill Gropp, NCSA director.

The NCSA is a state-federal partnership initiative part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The organization also operates the Nightingale, Hydro, Delta, and HAL systems. The company is deploying an AI partition on the Delta system.

“Demand for GPU resources is well documented across almost all research domains and many projects have requested more GPU resources be made available in Radiant,” said NCSA technical program manager Jim Glasgow. “Illinois Computes is a major stakeholder in Radiant and will now be able to offer allocations on the new GPUs through the program.”