Encanto supercomputer not yet living up to NM expectations

Posted on May 18, 2009. Filed under: economic development, research & development, science & technology |

A little over a year ago New Mexico unveiled Encanto, an $11M  supercomputer intended and expected to be used to encourage students to go into science careers, and as a tool to boost the state’s economy by luring more high-tech industry. 

Encanto’s operations are overseen by the New Mexico Computing Application Center (NMCAC), and it’s housed at Intel’s Rio Rancho site.  Encanto is currently the world’s 12th fastest supercomputer (the fastest non-federal supercomputer), capable of  up to 172 trillion calculations per second.  It’s initial focus was to be on digital media, health, and energy.

So what’s wrong?  According to a recent state study, Encanto has yet to bring in significant revenue, having generated only about $300,000 in cash so far.  Other revenue has been in the form of in-kind services; needed but not the model that will sustain Encanto and NMCAC into the future. 

However, perhaps in a sign of good things to come, NMCAC reports that Dreamworks Animation SKG Inc is teaming with New Mexico’s CerelinkDigital Media Group, which will use Encanta to render three-dimensional films in New Mexico.  No word on revenue projections.

NMCAC’s website states it is interested in “collaborating with businesses on late-stage R&D that will translate into commercial applications.”  Visit the NMCAC website to learn more. –nks

Need more information? Perhaps I can help.


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