Nikolic group awarded two million processor hours to simulate graphene nanoelectronics on one of the top ten supercomputers in the world

December 8, 2009 - At the December 2009 meeting of TeraGrid Allocation Committee, quantum transport theory group led by Prof. Nikolic has been awarded two million processor hours of compute time on Ranger, which is the ninth fastest supercomputer in the world according to November 2009 top500 list. This will allow postdoctoral researcher Dr. Saha and graduate students  to perform massively parallel simulations of carbon nanoelectronic devices based on newly discovered material graphene and its nanoribbons.

Since its surprising discovery in 2004, graphene - a one-atom-thick layer of graphite - has introduced in a short period of time a plethora of new concepts in condensed matter physics and nanotechnology, despite apparent simplicity of the two-dimensional honeycomb lattice of carbon atoms that underlies much of its unusual physics. At the same time, vigorous pursuit of carbon nanoelectronics, envisioned around gated planar graphene structures that promise to overcome some of the difficulties encountered by carbon nanotubes, has led to an increasing number of experimentally demonstrated graphene field-effect transistor (FET) concepts. In these setups, micron-size graphene sheets  or sub-10-nm-wide graphene nanoribbons were employed to demonstrate room temperature graphene-FET operation with large ON/OFF current ratios, high carrier mobility, large critical current densities, and operating frequency reaching ~ 26 GHz.

Furthermore, unusual band structure of graphene offers a possibility to create devices that have no analogue in conventional silicon-based electronics. Their operation can only be predicted by quantum transport simulations combined with first principles modeling of atomistic and electronic structure. The usage of Ranger will allow UD researcher to develop and run high performance scientific codes for realistic  graphene nanoelectronic devices composed of thousands of atoms while exploring quantum interference effects in their operation even at room temperature.

About Ranger

The Ranger system is comprised of 3,936 16-way SMP compute nodes providing 15,744 AMD Opteron™ processors for a total of 62,976 compute cores, 123 TB of total memory and 1.7 PB of raw global disk space. It has a theoretical peak performance of 579 TFLOPS. All Ranger nodes are interconnected using InfiniBand technology in a full-CLOS topology providing a 1GB/sec point-to-point bandwidth. A 10 PB capacity archival system is available for long term storage and backups.

About TeraGrid

TeraGrid is an open scientific discovery infrastructure combining leadership class resources at eleven partner sites to create an integrated, persistent computational resource.

Using high-performance network connections, the TeraGrid integrates high-performance computers, data resources and tools, and high-end experimental facilities around the country. Currently, TeraGrid resources include more than a petaflop of computing capability and more than 30 petabytes of online and archival data storage, with rapid access and retrieval over high-performance networks. Researchers can also access more than 100 discipline-specific databases. With this combination of resources, the TeraGrid is the world's largest, most comprehensive distributed cyberinfrastructure for open scientific research.

TeraGrid is coordinated through the Grid Infrastructure Group (GIG) at the University of Chicago, working in partnership with the Resource Provider sites: Indiana University, the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the National Institute for Computational Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, Purdue University, San Diego Supercomputer Center, Texas Advanced Computing Center, and University of Chicago/Argonne National Laboratory, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.