DOE Awards 18 Million Hours of Supercomputing Time

By Nicole Hemsoth

February 3, 2006

Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman has announced that DOE's Office of Science has awarded a total of 18.2 million hours of computing time on some of the world's most powerful supercomputers to help researchers in government labs, universities, and industry working on projects ranging from designing more efficient engines to better understanding Parkinson's disease.
The allocations of computing time are made under DOE's Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, now in its third year of providing resources to computationally intensive research projects in the national interest. In its first two years, INCITE has enabled scientists to create unprecedented simulations and gain greater insight into problems in chemistry, combustion, astrophysics, genetics and turbulence.
“Through the INCITE program, the department's scientific computing resources will continue to allow researchers to make discoveries that might otherwise not be possible,” Energy Secretary Bodman said in announcing the latest INCITE grants. “We live in an exciting time as researchers make advances that potentially can help us all.”
Projects to be supported by INCITE in the coming year include:
  * the design of more efficient aircraft and engines

  * learning more about the molecular basis of Parkinson's Disease

  * simulations which will help advance fusion as a future energy source

  * improved understanding of human and ecological processes affecting climate change

  * simulations to learn about how cell disruptions allow diseases and infections to occur

  * development of stronger advanced materials and better understanding of material properties

  * improved simulations of molecular collisions which can be used to study a wide range of scientific problems

  * development of computing tools to improve computer visualizations and animations

  * improved understanding of water and how light affects water in biological systems

  * computing the structure of proteins at the atomic level

  * an increased understanding of the dark energy and dark matter thought to make up more than 9/10ths of our universe

  * simulations of particle accelerators used in scientific research

For the first time in the three-year history of INCITE, proposals from private sector researchers were specifically encouraged. In return, much of the resulting knowledge will be made publicly available. The program was also expanded from a single supercomputing facility at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to five supercomputers at four DOE national laboratories.  The laboratories participating are Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  This allowed DOE to increase the number of grants to 15, up from three in each of the past two years.
Four of the proposals receiving awards were from industry:  Boeing Co., Dreamworks Animation, General Atomics Co., and Pratt Whitney.  Academic, research institutions and other companies to receive computing time are:   Auburn University; California Institute of Technology; Fisk University; Harvard University; Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Rollins College; Tech-X Corp.; University of Alaska, Fairbanks; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Davis; University of California, San Diego; University of Colorado; University of Strathclyde; and the University of Washington.
Researchers at DOE's Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos and Oak Ridge National Laboratories will also receive computing time. 
In response to the May 2005 call for INCITE proposals, 43 computationally intensive, large-scale research projects were submitted requesting over 95 million processor hours. The proposals covered 11 scientific disciplines: accelerator physics, astrophysics, chemical sciences, climate research, computer science, engineering physics, environmental science, fusion energy, life sciences, materials science and nuclear physics.
Sixty percent of the proposals received were from U. S. universities and 41 percent were supported by research agencies other than the Department of Energy.
In the first year of INCITE at NERSC, scientists from the University of Chicago and Argonne National Lab studying supernovae were able to model the first-ever full-star simulations of stellar explosions in three dimensions. Another group from UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab used their INCITE allocation to study key aspects of photosynthesis to better understand this sustainable energy source. A third group from Georgia Tech was able to create simulations of turbulence at a scale of unsurpassed detail, which can be used to improve engineering processes.
Currently, three research groups are making significant use of their allocations. One University of Chicago group is seeking to increase our understanding of accretion in the cosmos through simulation and experiment by modeling an experiment being done at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab to understand magneto-rotational instability. Another group, from Sandia Livermore, is creating direct numerical simulations of turbulent non-premixed flame that will serve as a benchmark for future theory and experiment. The third group, from the University of Washington, is using the IBM supercomputer at NERSC to catalog dynamical shapes of proteins by systematically unfolding them.
“I believe that the overwhelming response to the INCITE program reflects both the computational leadership of the Department of Energy and the widespread recognition of computational science as a tool for scientific discovery,” said Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, Director of DOE's Office of Science. “Fortunately, the Office of Science has facilities and expertise to help meet this demand.”
Processor-hours refer to how time is allocated on a supercomputer. A project receiving 50,000 hours could run on 50 processors for 1,000 hours, or about 42 days. Running the same project on a single-processor desktop computer would take almost six years. Projects to be supported by INCITE in 2006 range from 16,000 hours for a pilot study of Parkinson's disease to 5 million hours to study protein folding. Six of the projects received awards of 1 million or more processor-hours.
“Based on the scientific community's response to INCITE, along with the availability of additional supercomputers, we are now able to take this groundbreaking computational science program to a new level,” said Energy Secretary Bodman. “Previous INCITE projects have addressed problems ranging in size from the photosynthesis chemistry in plant molecules to supernova explosions, from turbulent flows to the formation of stars, from protein folding to combustion studies. What they all have in common is that access to DOE's scientific computing resources has allowed researchers to make advances that would have otherwise taken much longer or not been possible.”

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 about the Office of Science or for descriptions of the INCITE projects, go to

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Supercomputer Research Reveals Star Cluster Born Outside Our Galaxy

July 11, 2020

The Milky Way is our galactic home, containing our solar system and continuing into a giant band of densely packed stars that stretches across clear night skies around the world – but, it turns out, not all of those st Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Max Planck Society Begins Installation of Liquid-Cooled Supercomputer from Lenovo

July 9, 2020

Lenovo announced today that it is supplying a new high performance computer to the Max Planck Society, one of Germany's premier research organizations. Comprised of Intel Xeon processors and Nvidia A100 GPUs, and featuri Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Xilinx Announces First Adaptive Computing Challenge

July 9, 2020

A new contest is challenging the computing world. Xilinx has announced the first Xilinx Adaptive Computing Challenge, a competition that will task developers and startups with finding creative workload acceleration solutions. Xilinx is running the Adaptive Computing Challenge in partnership with, a developing community... Read more…

By Staff report

Reviving Moore’s Law? LBNL Researchers See Promise in Heterostructure Oxides

July 9, 2020

The reality of Moore’s law’s decline is no longer doubted for good empirical reasons. That said, never say never. Recent work by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers suggests heterostructure oxides may b Read more…

By John Russell

President’s Council Targets AI, Quantum, STEM; Recommends Spending Growth

July 9, 2020

Last week the President Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) met (webinar) to review policy recommendations around three sub-committee reports: 1) Industries of the Future (IotF), chaired be Dario Gil (d Read more…

By John Russell

AWS Solution Channel

Best Practices for Running Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Workloads on AWS

The scalable nature and variable demand of CFD workloads makes them well-suited for a cloud computing environment. Many of the AWS instance types, such as the compute family instance types, are designed to include support for this type of workload.  Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Supercomputing the Pandemic: Scientific Community Tackles COVID-19 from Multiple Perspectives

Since their inception, supercomputers have taken on the biggest, most complex, and most data-intensive computing challenges—from confirming Einstein’s theories about gravitational waves to predicting the impacts of climate change. Read more…

Penguin Computing Brings Cascade Lake-AP to OCP Form Factor

July 7, 2020

Penguin Computing, a subsidiary of SMART Global Holdings, Inc., announced yesterday (July 6) a new Tundra server, Tundra AP, that is the first to implement the Intel Xeon Scalable 9200 series processors (codenamed Cascad Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Max Planck Society Begins Installation of Liquid-Cooled Supercomputer from Lenovo

July 9, 2020

Lenovo announced today that it is supplying a new high performance computer to the Max Planck Society, one of Germany's premier research organizations. Comprise Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

President’s Council Targets AI, Quantum, STEM; Recommends Spending Growth

July 9, 2020

Last week the President Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) met (webinar) to review policy recommendations around three sub-committee reports: Read more…

By John Russell

Google Cloud Debuts 16-GPU Ampere A100 Instances

July 7, 2020

On the heels of the Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU launch in May, Google Cloud is announcing alpha availability of the A100 “Accelerator Optimized” VM A2 instance family on Google Compute Engine. The instances are powered by the HGX A100 16-GPU platform, which combines two HGX A100 8-GPU baseboards using... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Q&A: HLRS’s Bastian Koller Tackles HPC and Industry in Germany and Europe

July 6, 2020

In this exclusive interview for HPCwire – sadly not face to face – Steve Conway, senior advisor for Hyperion Research, talks with Dr.-Ing Bastian Koller about the state of HPC and its collaboration with Industry in Europe. Koller is a familiar figure in HPC. He is the managing director at High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) and also serves... Read more…

By Steve Conway, Hyperion

OpenPOWER Reboot – New Director, New Silicon Partners, Leveraging Linux Foundation Connections

July 2, 2020

Earlier this week the OpenPOWER Foundation announced the contribution of IBM’s A21 Power processor core design to the open source community. Roughly this time Read more…

By John Russell

Hyperion Forecast – Headwinds in 2020 Won’t Stifle Cloud HPC Adoption or Arm’s Rise

June 30, 2020

The semiannual taking of HPC’s pulse by Hyperion Research – late fall at SC and early summer at ISC – is a much-watched indicator of things come. This yea Read more…

By John Russell

Racism and HPC: a Special Podcast

June 29, 2020

Promoting greater diversity in HPC is a much-discussed goal and ostensibly a long-sought goal in HPC. Yet it seems clear HPC is far from achieving this goal. Re Read more…

Top500 Trends: Movement on Top, but Record Low Turnover

June 25, 2020

The 55th installment of the Top500 list saw strong activity in the leadership segment with four new systems in the top ten and a crowning achievement from the f Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Supercomputer Modeling Tests How COVID-19 Spreads in Grocery Stores

April 8, 2020

In the COVID-19 era, many people are treating simple activities like getting gas or groceries with caution as they try to heed social distancing mandates and protect their own health. Still, significant uncertainty surrounds the relative risk of different activities, and conflicting information is prevalent. A team of Finnish researchers set out to address some of these uncertainties by... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Turns Its Massive Crowdsourced Computer Network Against COVID-19

March 16, 2020

For gamers, fighting against a global crisis is usually pure fantasy – but now, it’s looking more like a reality. As supercomputers around the world spin up Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Rallies a Legion of Computers Against the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Last week, we highlighted [email protected], a massive, crowdsourced computer network that has turned its resources against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe – but [email protected] isn’t the only game in town. The internet is buzzing with crowdsourced computing... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Simulations Reveal the Fate of the Neanderthals

May 25, 2020

For hundreds of thousands of years, neanderthals roamed the planet, eventually (almost 50,000 years ago) giving way to homo sapiens, which quickly became the do Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

DoE Expands on Role of COVID-19 Supercomputing Consortium

March 25, 2020

After announcing the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium on Sunday, the Department of Energy yesterday provided more details on its sco Read more…

By John Russell

Honeywell’s Big Bet on Trapped Ion Quantum Computing

April 7, 2020

Honeywell doesn’t spring to mind when thinking of quantum computing pioneers, but a decade ago the high-tech conglomerate better known for its control systems waded deliberately into the then calmer quantum computing (QC) waters. Fast forward to March when Honeywell announced plans to introduce an ion trap-based quantum computer whose ‘performance’ would... Read more…

By John Russell

Neocortex Will Be First-of-Its-Kind 800,000-Core AI Supercomputer

June 9, 2020

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC - a joint research organization of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh) has won a $5 million award Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Global Supercomputing Is Mobilizing Against COVID-19

March 12, 2020

Tech has been taking some heavy losses from the coronavirus pandemic. Global supply chains have been disrupted, virtually every major tech conference taking place over the next few months has been canceled... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Leading Solution Providers


Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU: Up to 2.5X the HPC, 20X the AI

May 14, 2020

Nvidia's first Ampere-based graphics card, the A100 GPU, packs a whopping 54 billion transistors on 826mm2 of silicon, making it the world's largest seven-nanom Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

‘Billion Molecules Against COVID-19’ Challenge to Launch with Massive Supercomputing Support

April 22, 2020

Around the world, supercomputing centers have spun up and opened their doors for COVID-19 research in what may be the most unified supercomputing effort in hist Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Australian Researchers Break All-Time Internet Speed Record

May 26, 2020

If you’ve been stuck at home for the last few months, you’ve probably become more attuned to the quality (or lack thereof) of your internet connection. Even Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

15 Slides on Programming Aurora and Exascale Systems

May 7, 2020

Sometime in 2021, Aurora, the first planned U.S. exascale system, is scheduled to be fired up at Argonne National Laboratory. Cray (now HPE) and Intel are the k Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

TACC Supercomputers Run Simulations Illuminating COVID-19, DNA Replication

March 19, 2020

As supercomputers around the world spin up to combat the coronavirus, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is announcing results that may help to illumina Read more…

By Staff report

$100B Plan Submitted for Massive Remake and Expansion of NSF

May 27, 2020

Legislation to reshape, expand - and rename - the National Science Foundation has been submitted in both the U.S. House and Senate. The proposal, which seems to Read more…

By John Russell

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This