Sunday, November 17, 2013

Department of Energy Funds Research in Next-Gen SuperComputer Interconnects

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) have awarded $25.4 million in research and development contracts to five leading companies in high-performance computing (HPC) to accelerate the development of next-generation supercomputers.

Under DOE’s new DesignForward initiative, AMD, Cray, IBM, Intel Federal and NVIDIA will work to advance extreme-scale, on the path to exascale, computing technology. The contracts, which cover a two-year performance period, will support the design and evaluation of interconnect architectures for future advanced HPC architectures. Such interconnects will tie together hundreds of thousands or millions of processors, as building blocks of supercomputers to be used in studying complex problems in unprecedented detail.  Intel will focus on interconnect architectures and implementation approaches, Cray on open network protocol standards, AMD on interconnect architectures and associated execution models, IBM on energy-efficient interconnect architectures and messaging models and NVIDIA on interconnect architectures for massively threaded processors.

“Exascale computing is key to NNSA’s capability of ensuring the safety and security of our nuclear stockpile without returning to underground testing,” said Robert Meisner, director of the NNSA Office of Advanced Simulation and Computing program. “The resulting simulation capabilities will also serve as valuable tools to address nonproliferation and counterterrorism issues, as well as informing other national security decisions.”

“In an era of fierce international HPC competition, the development of exascale computing becomes critical not only to our national security missions but to the nation’s economic competitiveness in the global marketplace,” said William Harrod, FastForward Program Manager and Research Division Directorfor DOE’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research program. “This partnership between industry, the DOE Office of Science and NNSA supports the development of technology to overcome the obstacles on the road to exascale systems.”


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