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DOE Primes Pump for Exascale Supercomputers

HPC Wire (07/12/12) Michael Feldman

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently awarded two-year, multimillion-dollar grants to Intel, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), NVIDIA, and Whamcloud to develop exascale computers as part of the FastForward program, which will focus on developing future hardware and software technologies capable of supporting such machines.  The program is being contracted through Lawrence Livermore National Security as part of a multi-lab consortium that includes Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories.  “While DOE’s extreme-scale computer requirements are a driving factor, these projects must also exhibit the potential for technology adoption by broader segments of the market outside of DOE supercomputer installations,” says a FastForward statement.  Intel’s FastForward processor research will be based on the company’s Many Integrated Core architecture, which is designed for the supercomputing market.  AMD will be basing its FastForward processor research on its Accelerated Processing Unit product line and the related Heterogeneous Systems Architecture standard.  NVIDIA will base its FastForward research on its Echelon design.

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