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Department of Energy to give $425 million for fastest supercomputers

Staff writer |
U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz announced two new High Performance Computing (HPC) awards to put the nation on a fast-track to next generation exascale computing.

Secretary Moniz announced $325 million to build two state-of-the-art supercomputers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories.

The joint Collaboration of Oak Ridge, Argonne, and Lawrence Livermore (CORAL) was established in early 2014 to leverage supercomputing investments, streamline procurement processes and reduce costs to develop supercomputers that will be five to seven times more powerful when fully deployed than today's fastest systems in the U.S.

In addition, Secretary Moniz also announced approximately $100 million to further develop extreme scale supercomputing technologies as part of a research and development program titled FastForward 2.

Both CORAL awards leverage the IBM Power Architecture, Nvidia's Volta GPU and Mellanox's Interconnected technologies to advance key research initiatives for national nuclear deterrence, technology advancement and scientific discovery.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory's (ORNL's) new system, Summit, is expected to provide at least five times the performance of ORNL's current leadership system, Titan. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL's) new supercomputer, Sierra, is expected to be at least seven times more powerful than LLNL's current machine, Sequoia. Argonne National Laboratory will announce its CORAL award at a later time.

The second announcement, FastForward 2, seeks to develop critical technologies needed to deliver next-generation capabilities that will enable affordable and energy-efficient advanced extreme scale computing research and development for the next decade.

The joint project between DOE Office of Science and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will be led by computing industry leaders AMD, Cray, IBM, Intel and Nvidia.

onomic security while driving down the energy and costs of computing. The overall goal of both CORAL and FastForward 2 is to establish the foundation for the development of exascale computing systems that would be 20-40 times faster than today's leading supercomputers.

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