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UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering

San Diego Supercomputer Center Breaks Ground on Building Expansion

(l-r) Senior vice chancellor Marsha Chandler, chancellor Marye Anne Fox, and SDSC director Fran Berman break ground. 
June 08, 2006 -- Today University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Chancellor Marye Anne Fox and San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) Director Fran Berman broke ground on the Center’s 80,000-square-foot building expansion.  SDSC’s building extension will double the size of the national science, engineering and technology center, adding needed room for trillions of bytes of data, powerful supercomputers and more than 400 professional multidisciplinary staff. The building extension marks SDSC’s 21st year and an era of expanded national leadership for the Center.

“SDSC’s new building extension will facilitate SDSC’s role as a national data repository and a national Cyberinfrastructure Center,” remarked SDSC Director and HPC Endowed Professor Fran Berman. “What makes this building extension so important to UCSD and the nation is the human, software and hardware resources it will house; and the discoveries it will enable.”

With the existing building and new extension, SDSC will have 160,000 gross square feet of space and nearly five megawatts of power – enough wattage to light five thousand homes – to operate the Center and its high-performance computing and data systems.  The expanded 5,000 square foot machine room floor (above the current 13,000) will support future growth and house networking which connects SDSC and UCSD across the country and around the world, and will include a new high-tech visualization center.  The expansion will support SDSC’s current role as one of the largest data storage resources in the country, offering users more than 18 petabytes of available tape storage space and 1.4 petabytes of disk storage. The expansion will also house collaboratory facilities for SDSC’s projects and staff, offices and meeting rooms, as well as a new 250-seat auditorium that can be reconfigured into smaller spaces.

"SDSC is an integral part of the UCSD community," said Chancellor Fox at the groundbreaking ceremony.  "The center's quest for innovation in high-performance computing and data technologies is tremendous – this expansion will further advance SDSC's leadership role in these areas."

 shovels cake
Shovels with watercolor image of planned expansion.Cake for attendees with image of the expansion in frosting.

“SDSC hosts an amazing assembly of organizations, programs, projects and above all, people, that have led the way in creating and applying cyberinfrastructure to research and education,” said Dan Atkins, Director of the National Science Foundation’s Office of Cyberinfrastructure, who spoke via videotape at the groundbreaking ceremonies.  “Our nation is fortunate that this Center continues to serve and catalyze our research communities.” 

Interaction and collaboration were the themes for the building design, architected by the firm of EHDD (Esherick Homsey Dodge and Davis).  The new extension is scheduled for completion by June 2008.  Specifically designed for efficiency, the building has already won honors.  The Higher Education Energy Partnership awarded the building expansion its 2005 Best Practices Award for the innovative heating, ventilation and air conditioning design developed for the facility.

During construction, the existing SDSC building will remain open and in operation.  Public tours of the existing machine room and high-tech facilities are welcome and available on request by emailing  Webcam photos of the building extension construction will be available on the SDSC website at so viewers can follow the new building’s progress.

About SDSC
For more than two decades, the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) has enabled breakthrough data-driven and computational science and engineering discoveries through the innovation and provision of information infrastructure, technologies and interdisciplinary expertise.   A key resource to academia and industry, SDSC is an international leader in Data Cyberinfrastructure and computational science, and serves as a national data repository to nearly 100 public and private data collections. SDSC is an Organized Research Unit and integral part of the University of California , San Diego and one of the founding sites of NSF’s TeraGrid.   For more information, see

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