The Department of Energy (DOE) has a long history of deploying leading-edge computing capability for science and national security. Going forward, DOE’s compelling science, energy assurance, and national security needs will require a thousand-fold increase in usable computing power, delivered as quickly and energy-efficiently as possible. Those needs, and the ability of high performance computing (HPC) to address other critical problems of national interest, are described in reports from the ten DOE Scientific Grand Challenges Workshops that were convened in the 2008–2010 timeframe. A common finding across these efforts is that scientific simulation and data analysis requirements are exceeding petascale capabilities and rapidly approaching the need for exascale computing. However, due to projected technology constraints, current approaches to HPC software and hardware design will not be sufficient to produce the required exascale capabilities.
The DOE FastForward and DesignForward projects take the first important steps towards addressing these challenges in a public/private partnership between DOE and leaders in the computing industry. Informed by responses to DOE’s Exascale RFI, DOE SC and NNSA have identified key areas of strategic research and development (R&D) investment that will provide benefit to future extreme-scale applications. FastForward focuses on component technologies in the three areas of Memory, Processor, and Storage technology to lay the ground-work for long-lead-time advances required to meet DOE mission requirements. DesignForward focuses on fully integrated system design, and key technologies such as the interconnect that are required to enable efficient and scalable systems for extreme-scale computing. The FastForward and Design Forward programs are two years in duration, with the intent to establish an ongoing program for successful projects to continue innovation in these and additional technology areas.
Information on these two projects may be found here:
The secure Wiki is now here for DOE participants.