RIO RANCHO, NM (KRQE) — It's cost taxpayers nearly $20 million already, now the state-owned Encanto supercomputer could be sold before it costs too much more.
The supercomputer was built in 2007 and is housed at Intel in Rio Rancho. At the time, there were promises from the Richardson administration that Encanto would attract high-tech companies looking to use the powerful computer's capabilities.
But as News 13 investigative reporter Larry Barker uncovered in a February 2011 report, companies haven't relocated and those jobs haven't come.
Since then, a state audit has shown no revenue coming in and the project running at a deficit.
Secretary Darryl Ackley with the New Mexico Department of Information Technology says the state's also found at least $1.5 million in bills run up by the New Mexico Computing Applications Center (NMCAC), a nonprofit group that manages Encanto.
There is also apparently no support or maintenance in place for the supercomputer. While it is still functional, Ackley said Encanto is in need of some serious upkeep within the next few months or it could face a major failure.
Intel informed the state and NMCAC in March that it will not renew the lease to house Encanto.
Because of those factors, the state has taken over management of the supercomputer and is trying to figure out what to do next.
"We have to figure out, are we going to sell it as a whole or are we going to sell it in pieces, maybe to the universities," said Gov. Susana Martinez.
It appears that selling it as a whole may not be a feasible option. It's unclear how much money could be made selling off the supercomputer.
Encanto is capable of 172 trillion calculations a second but is no longer the third-fastest supercomputer in the world. Now it's 128th.
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New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.