AMD Gets DOE Funding To Shape Future of HPC

AMD has been awarded $12.6 million for two research projects associated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Extreme-Scale Computing Research and Development Program, known as “FastForward.”

The DOE award is split up into $3 million for memory-related research and $9.6 million for processor-related research. FastForward is a jointly funded collaboration between DOE Office of Science, and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to initiate partnerships to accelerate the research and development of extreme scale computing, on the path toward exascale computing.

“To prepare for the next phase of extreme scale computing, NNSA and DOE Office of Science are taking a proactive step in jointly making strategic investments in key areas such as processor, file storage and memory technologies with AMD and others,” said Thuc Hoang of DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration. “A key to successfully developing next-generation HPC capabilities is bringing together the know-how and best minds of industry leaders and national labs to work on this grand challenge.”

A total of 62 Top500 supercomputers in the June 2012 list are powered by AMD processors, with three in the top 20, including the DOE’s Jaguar, a Cray XK6 system.  AMD Opteron processors were also selected for the Blue Waters supercomputing project.

According to Dr. William J. Harrod, Division Director of Research, in the DOE Office of Science, ASCR, “extreme scale technology will create a whole new class of high performance computing systems that can achieve 1,000 times the performance of today’s petascale computers while limiting growth in space and power requirements. The primary goal of the Department’s exascale effort is to ensure the availability of leading-edge computing assets for national security and scientific discovery. The development of high performance, energy-efficient processor and memory technologies are critical to achieving the Department’s goals and AMD is initiating innovative designs for these components.”

According to the report, “The Future of Computing Performance, Game Over or Next Level?” by the National Academy of Sciences in 2011, “Virtually every sector of society – manufacturing, financial services, education, government, the military, entertainment, and so on – has become dependent on continued growth in computing performance to drive industrial productivity, increase efficiency, and enable innovation.” To address this need, the FastForward program funds new or existing innovative technologies targeted for productization in a five-to-ten year timeframe. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory represented seven DOE laboratories and the DOE as the Source Selection Official for this award.

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About the Author

John Rath is a veteran IT professional and regular contributor at Data Center Knowledge. He has served many roles in the data center, including support, system administration, web development and facility management.

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