LSU Joins OpenPOWER Foundation to Improve Infrastructure Support for Data-Enabled Research

BATON ROUGE – LSU has joined the OpenPOWER Foundation, an open development community based on the POWER microprocessor architecture. Community members work collaboratively to address critical big data, cloud and application challenges, reimagine the data center and produce innovative systems designs.

LSU joins a growing roster of technology organizations and universities partnering to build advanced server, networking, storage and acceleration technology for the development of next-generation, hyperscale and cloud data centers. The group makes POWER hardware and software available to open development for the first time, as well as making POWER intellectual property licensable to others, greatly expanding the ecosystem of innovators on the platform. The collaboratively built hardware and software solutions will be utilized by LSU’s Center for Computation & Technology, or CCT, to improve infrastructure support for research at LSU.

The increasing amount of data being generated in today’s world has led to computational challenges for effective data capture and storage, transfer, retrieval and analysis. Data analysis to extract value from large and complex data, or so-called big data, is a clear bottleneck for many university data centers, often due to the lack of appropriate infrastructure and the sheer size and complexity of the data. Additionally, there is a growing need for more robust modeling, simulation and visualization techniques across multiple disciplines.

“Data-enabled research is of fundamental importance to many research and development activities at LSU. Coastal scientists are integrating disparate data sets to develop smarter approaches to wetlands management. Engineers develop and utilize powerful modeling and simulation tools to create the next generation of materials for storing and delivering electrical energy. Artists work with the CCT Cultural Computing Group to create experimental sonic art pieces out of data such as LIDAR scans of the Mississippi River. Life scientists are involved in analyzing complex genomic data, etc.,” said Gus Kousoulas, LSU associate vice president for research and economic development. “We are committed to positioning LSU as an international leader in advanced computing and big data research in collaboration with IBM and to assist in Louisiana’s economic development and diversification efforts.”

The development model of the OpenPOWER Foundation facilitates collaboration and represents a new approach for exploiting and innovating around powerful processor technology.

“In addition to advancing computational and data science research at LSU, being an OpenPOWER member enables new opportunities in hardware and software systems research at LSU,” said J. “Ram” Ramanujam, CCT director.

With the POWER architecture designed for big data and cloud applications, new OpenPOWER Foundation members, like LSU, will be able to add their own innovations and create new applications to provide solutions for a variety of research problems and societal needs.

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Contact Gretchen Rhodes
LSU Office of Research & Economic Development