LSU’s Center for Computation & Technology launches Apple Xserve supercomputing cluster

Apple Computer and LSU’s Center for Computation & Technology are joining to co-sponsor the official launch of Nemeaux, the newest addition to CCT’s collection of high performance computers.   CCT will unveil Nemeaux Thursday, Jan. 20, with a public reception at the Frey Computing Services Building at LSU.

Nemeaux, a cluster of 24 Apple Xserve G5 machines, will leverage its computational power for creative and research projects in the computational arts, as well as in scientific computing.   Purchased with a $114,000 grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents, Nemeaux is the only cluster of its kind devoted to computational arts research.   It will open new avenues of expression and creativity for artists, musicians and researchers at LSU.  

“Nemeaux provides a platform for scientists and artists to explore new possibilities,” said Stephen David Beck, director of the Laboratory for Creative Arts & Technologies, a division of CCT, and professor of composition and computer music.

Researchers in LCAT will benefit from Nemeaux’s ability to link art and technology for future creative and research projects. Among the intended uses of the computer cluster are video composition and animation rendering, which translates a set of computer data and virtual objects into a full visual representation of those objects.   Nemeaux will also serve as a powerful research tool for the computational aspects of music, film, video and art.

Nemeaux is currently serving as a test-bed for CCT’s Cactus Framework and Apple’s Xgrid, which are two applications in Grid Computing.   Researchers are developing tools to perform distributed audio rendering on the cluster, using multiple computers to analyze, process and generate sound.  

Although Nemeaux’s focus will remain in the computational arts, it will be put to use to explore problems in numerical relativity, fluid dynamics and scientific visualization. Nemeaux will become part of CCT’s “garden of computational architectures” and be used along side CCT’s two other high performance computers as a collection of supercomputing clusters targeted at specific tasks and disciplines, according to Beck.  

The Center for Computation & Technology, or CCT, at LSU is an interdisciplinary research environment for advancing computational sciences, technologies, and the disciplines they touch. The center’s efforts are funded largely by the Louisiana Legislature’s Information Technology Initiative.

More info here.


  1. Wow, they’re really spinning things here: we have a 164 node cluster that we use for “art” purposes (rendering and video work). It’s not Apple-related, but certainly it’s used for the arts. Plus I know of dozens of other academic institutions with similar setups.

    LSU is really stretching the truth in their announcement!

  2. One has to be amazed at Apples approach: First get the consumers, i.e. private users to endorse the Apples to their companies, and then just to make sure, Apple is making themselves a name in the Supercomputing field with their clusters. Thus attacking the corporate structurte on two fronts.

    i am so proud of myself that I never doubted in Apple. My father, who was in IT before he retired, one owned a MacDealership in Apples greymarket days in South Africa, declared Apple as a loser in 1990 and promptly sold his business to go into the bigger corporate market. Now, he is rethinking his strategy and advising his contacts in the corporate market to reconsider Apple as a strong contender for the companies IT arsenal.

    Way to go.

    in departing i would opnce again like to mentione the magic word “people” as in Power to the Mac-People

  3. Less is more-
    I now have a G3 powermac that I built in to a shoe-box. You can add that to your cluster. Its like a mac mini, except it says “And 1 size 12” on it

    (the power brick is built in on mine)

    ** warning, it is a fire-hazard to leave it on for longer than 1 hour at a time.

  4. Wow … a Mac shoebox! Seriously, I should wipe the two black boxes and give them away, but they take too long to start up. As for the G4, fine performer that it has always been, it’s now in need of a screen. Perhaps I’ll put 9.2.2 on that and keep it as a Classic gamer for the kids.

  5. DanK…

    I’d be interested in seeing a picture of your “ShoeBox” Mac….

    Could you post one or more somewhere … then post the link in these threads ??

    Im sure a lot of Mac Heads would get a kick out of seeing it..


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