Application Readiness at the DOE, Part I: Oak Ridge Advances Toward Summit

By John Russell

April 16, 2015

At the 56th HPC User Forum, hosted by IDC in Norfolk, Va., this week, three panelists from major government labs discussed how they are getting science applications ready for the coming crop of Department of Energy (DOE) supercomputers, which in addition to being five-to-seven times faster than today’s fastest big iron machines, constitute significant architectural changes.

Titled “The Who-What-When of Getting Applications Ready to Run On, And Across, Office of Science Next-Gen Leadership Computing Systems,” the session was chaired by Suzy Tichenor, director of the Industrial Partnerships Program for the Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and featured three perspectives on application readiness from DOE computing centers:

  • OLCF Center for Accelerated Application Readiness (CAAR), Tjerk Straatsma, Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)
  • NERSC Exascale Science Applications Program (NESAP), Katie Antypas, National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)
  • ALCF Early Science Program (ESP), Tim Williams, Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF)

HPCwire has videos of all three panelists’ presentations. They are relatively short, ~20 minutes, and definitely worthwhile viewing. Here is the first one:

#1 – Summit: Code Winners (and Losers) in Readiness Program

The first speaker on the panel, Tjerk Straatsma, scientific computing group leader at Oak Ridge National Labs (ORNL), announced the 13 winners of the Center for Accelerated Application Readiness (CAAR) evaluation effort to select codes to be optimized for the Summit system planned to succeed Titan and due around 2018.

Straatsma discussed the significance of optimization, portability, and early science projects for Summit which will have far fewer nodes, use only slightly more power, but vastly outperform Titan. He provided a comparison of Titan and Summit architecture and performance expectations, and then detailed CAAR activities in preparation for Summit as well as reviewed synergy between the NERSC Exascale Science Application Program (NESAP), CAAR at OLCF, and ESP at ALCF.

Next Up: Part II and Part III

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