CSC News

February 27, 2009

RENCI@NCSU Completes Renovation and Upgrade

In February 2009, the Renaissance Computing Institute's Engagement Facility at NC State (RENCI@NCSU) completed a building renovation to support the installation of a research network entitled the Breakable Experimental Network (BEN). 

BEN is a unique platform for network experimentation created by the Triangle networking community.  It is located in Research Triangle Park, NC and consists of several segments of North Carolina Networking Initiative (NCNI) dark fiber, a time-shared resource that is available to the NC research community.  BEN is a facility created for and managed by researchers and scientists in order to promote scientific discovery by providing the North Carolina Universities with world-class infrastructure and resources for experimentation with disruptive networking technologies. 

RENCI acts as a caretaker of the facility and provides access to the fiber through its Engagement sites on Triangle university campuses. With the renovation to the RENCI@NCSU Partners I Suite 1500 facility, BEN will now become available to researchers and faculty on the NC State campus.

In January and February 2009, RENCI@NCSU also upgraded its 170 inch by 96 inch high visualization display wall to be a fully digital system that now allows for more accurate adjustment of the display images. The display system is composed of 16 projectors with the capability to display 5120 by 2880 pixels. The visualization wall is driven by one personal computer with an Nvidia QuadroPlex attached.

The visualization display wall allows researchers to view large-scale, time-dependent data as color-coded visual simulations of complicated processes, such as plotting physically similar documents close to each other given certain parameters and by doing so discover trends within a text collection that are difficult to discover through traditional means.  It is real-time interactive, allowing for six-degrees of freedom navigation through and around millions of documents at beyond 30 frames/second.

The Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) is a major collaborative venture of faculty, staff and students at NC State, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill along with the state of North Carolina and communities across North Carolina.  RENCI brings together multidisciplinary experts and advanced technological capabilities to address pressing research issues and to find solutions to complex problems that affect the quality of life in North Carolina, our nation and the world.

For more information on RENCI, click here.


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