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Cables in one of 30 cabinets that comprise Edison, a Cray XC30 supercomputer at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center.

Powering down

December 15th, 2015 Updated: December 15th, 2015

PNNL team views ‘undervolting’ — turning down the power supplied to processors — as a way to make exascale computing feasible.



Life underground

August 19th, 2014 Updated: August 16th, 2014

A PNNL team builds models of deep-earth water flows that affect the tiny organisms that can make big contributions to climate-changing gases.


Scalability (red line) of the triples part of the re-normalized EOMCCSD(T) approach in excited-state calculations for porphyrin-coronene complex. Timings were determined from calculations on the Jaguar Cray XT5 computer system.

Balancing act

October 31st, 2013 Updated: October 31st, 2013

A Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researcher is developing approaches to spread the work evenly over scads of processors in a high-performance computer and to keep calculations clicking even as part of the machine has a hiccup.


A still from an animation of methane, the blue and silver molecules, escaping from a methane hydrate, the red and silver molecules water molecules that form a cage around methane molecules. (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.)

Twice-stuffed permafrost

July 31st, 2012 Updated: July 31st, 2012

A Pacific Northwest National Laboratory computation suggests that the water-gas compounds found in ocean permafrost can provide energy and store it, too – and then trap carbon dioxide.


This shows the Western North American power grid with the analysis results of 200 overlaid possible contingencies. Red areas indicate vulnerable portions of the power grid that network operators must address. Gray areas are causes for concern and green areas are safe. Overlaying the 200 sets of risk-level data allows operators to visualize the collective risk of contingencies on the system.

Getting a grip on the grid

June 10th, 2010 Updated: February 18th, 2013

A PNNL team enlists new algorithms and powerful computers to quickly analyze which combinations of failures most threaten the power grid.


The big face off

December 17th, 2009 Updated: February 18th, 2013

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers say their algorithms can analyze millions of video frames, pluck out the faces and quantify them to create searchable databases for facial identification.