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Livermore Joins With Oak Ridge and Argonne to Develop Next Supercomputers

LLNL News Center (02/26/14) Donald B. Johnston 

The collaboration of Oak Ridge, Argonne, and Livermore (CORAL) national laboratories plans to develop next-generation supercomputers capable of performing at up to 200 peak petaflops. CORAL is currently evaluating responses to a joint request for proposals for procurement issued in early January. The new supercomputers would be about 10 times faster than today’s most powerful high-performance computing systems, and would support the research missions at their respective labs. At Livermore, a system called Sierra would serve the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Advanced Simulation and Computing Program for stockpile stewardship. Oak Ridge and Argonne will utilize systems that fulfill the needs of their Department of Energy Office of Science missions under the Advanced Scientific Computing Research program. The technological innovations required for CORAL systems call for a deliberate and strategic investment plan. There are technological challenges to building the systems, such as containing power requirements, making sure it is reliable and resilient, and ensuring memory bandwidth is sufficient. The final decision on developing the supercomputers will be based on the small prototype systems that are built by the selected vendors. CORAL, which wants to produce three systems by 2017-2018, says the project could be key to the development of exascale systems.

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