BATON ROUGE, La. — The National Science Foundation has awarded LSU's Center for Computation and Technology a $4 million grant to acquire a new supercomputer cluster capable of making one quadrillion calculations per second.

The Advocate reports the NSF grant is the largest such award LSU has ever received as part of the Major Research Instrumentation program.

A supercomputer is generally defined as a large grouping of processors harnessed together and dedicated to working on complex, time-consuming set of problems.

This supercomputer, known as SuperMic, will be used for a variety of research projects including the discovery of new drugs, modeling coastal processes and forecasting hurricane-generated waves and storm surges.

SuperMic will be at least the fourth generation of supercomputer LSU has had with SuperMike coming online in 2002, Tezpur in 2007 and SuperMike II earlier this year.

But, according to an LSU news release, SuperMic will be the first of its kind in Louisiana and has the potential to turn LSU "into a significant player on the national scene."