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May 13, 2008
WASHINGTON, May 13 -- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today it is accepting proposals for a program to support high-impact scientific advances through the use of some of the world's most powerful supercomputers at four of DOE's national laboratories. Through the Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, DOE's Office of Science plans to award approximately 680 million supercomputer processor-hours at its laboratories in Berkeley, Calif.; Chicago, Ill.; Oak Ridge, Tenn.; and Richland, Wash. for large-scale, computationally-intensive science projects in 2009.
"Over the past five years since we launched INCITE, the program has achieved some remarkable discoveries," said Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, DOE's Under Secretary for Science. "These have been achieved by researchers from universities, private sector companies, and laboratories in a competitive environment. As a consequence, while we have more than doubled the number of computational cycles we award each succeeding year, the demand continues to exceed what we can provide. We welcome this growth of interest, and will continue to expand our computing resources to provide the U.S. with leadership capabilities, leading to enhanced global competitiveness for our nation."
This is the sixth year of DOE's INCITE program, which encourages proposals from scientists and engineers from universities, industry and other research facilities for large-scale science projects requiring the use of high-performance computing systems not commonly available in academia or the private sector. The number of processor-hours expected to be awarded in 2009 is more than double the amount allocated in 2008, and is made possible by the new 550 teraflop/s (550 trillion calculations per second) IBM BlueGene P supercomputer recently installed at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago.
The term "processor-hours" refers to allocation of time on a supercomputer. A project receiving one million processor-hours would take 500 hours, or about 21 days, on a 2,000-processor supercomputer. The same project performed on a single-processor desktop computer would take more than 114 years.
For 2009, the INCITE program provides the only opportunity for researchers to request allocations on the Cray XT4 supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) and the IBM Blue Gene supercomputer at the Argonne National Laboratory Leadership Computing Facility (Chicago, Ill.). Other available computing resources are the Cray XT4 supercomputer at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, Calif.) and the Hewlett-Packard massively parallel system at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Wash.).
"Although these supercomputers provide tremendous capabilities, a key component of INCITE is the technical expertise provided by our staff members at the centers. In many cases, with the help of our center staff, the applications will run on 10 times or 100 times as many processors to yield results in unprecedented detail," Orbach said. "But getting to this level of computational readiness can be a high hurdle for even experienced computational scientists. The support provided to INCITE researchers is a key factor in their scientific success."
Winning proposals will be selected through a peer-review process and are expected to be announced later this year. Current DOE sponsorship is not required for this program. For more information on the Call for Proposals, visit http://hpc.science.doe.gov/. For information on projects receiving INCITE allocations in 2008, visit http://www.sc.doe.gov/ascr/incite/2008INCITEFactsheets.pdf.
DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the nation and ensures U.S. world leadership across a broad range of scientific disciplines. For more information on DOE's Office of Science, visit www.science.doe.gov.
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