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NSF-NCSA Study Probes Relationship Between Industrial Applications and Underlying Science

HPC Wire (10/03/12) Steve Conway

In an interview, U.S. National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) director Merle Giles discusses the findings of a study to determine whether improvements in the science inside applications and other factors could help industrial high-performance computing (HPC) users.  “The main goal was to better understand the root causes that limit the realism and performance of today’s HPC applications and to solicit ideas for improving the applications’ performance and realism for industrial users,” Giles says.  As part of the study, IDC conducted extensive interviews in person and in writing, and organized a focus group to probe some of the issues more deeply.  Of the surveyed organizations, 17 percent were in government, 7 percent were academic, and 76 percent came from industry or from organizations closely allied with industry.  Giles says one of the most important findings was that users are fine with today’s HPC systems but many need retraining for next-generation systems.  In addition, about 66 percent of the organizations approved of having NCSA or the U.S. National Science Foundation heavily involved in the process of advancing their important applications.

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