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DOE Taps Intel, Cray for Help in Exascale Supercomputer Shift

Sudip Dosanjh
Sudip Dosanjh

The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center has partnered with Intel and Cray to launch a program to help with the transition of the Energy Department‘s computing platform for scientific research to an exascale supercomputer.

The center said Aug. 11 that the NERSC Exascale Science Applications Program is intended to boost readiness as DOE prepares for deployment of the Cray XC system Cori in 2016.

Katie Antypas
Katie Antypas

“We expect to see many aspects of Cori in an exascale computer, including dramatically more concurrency and on-package memory,” said Sudip Dosanjh, NERSC director.

The Cori supercomputer features a “manycore” architecture and Intel’s Xeon Phi processor, which are built to bolster scientific productivity through higher application speed and resolution, high-bandwidth and on-package memory and other enhancements.

Application developers need to perform code modifications on legacy scientific applications to make them compatible with manycore architectures, NERSC said.

These efforts are aided by the NERSC-Cray center of excellence for code optimization, user training and support from Cray and Intel computing specialists.

NERSC will also select 20 scientific applications that will be integrated into the Cori system and appoint eight post-doctoral fellows to work with the application teams as part of NESAP.

“By starting this well before Cori arrives, we hope to ensure that our users, and the supercomputing community in general, are ready for the coming exascale revolution,” said Katie Antypas, head of NERSC’s services department.

“Our goal is to enable performance that is portable across systems and will be sustained in future supercomputing architectures.”

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