Exascale Escapes 2018 Budget Axe; Rest of Science Suffers

By Tiffany Trader

May 23, 2017

President Trump’s proposed $4.1 trillion FY 2018 budget is good for U.S. exascale computing development, but grim for the rest of science and technology spending. As a total crosscut of the DOE Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration, exascale-focused activities receive $508 million, a full 77 percent boost over FY17 enacted levels. The hike puts the U.S. on track to stand up an exascale capable machine by 2021.

Nearly alone among government science programs, Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) and the Exascale Computing Project (ECP) run by the Department of Energy (DOE) escaped pervasive and deep cuts in spending in the FY 2018 budget proposal (“A New Foundation for American Greatness”), released Tuesday morning. Total ASCR funding gets an 11.6 percent lift to $722 million, and ECP funding rises nearly 20 percent to $196.6 million over FY17 enacted levels ($164 million).

The rest of the Office of Science programs were not so fortunate. Neither was the NIH (19 percent cut), the NSF (11 percent cut) and most severely, the EPA (31.4 percent cut).

Science observes that aside from the $197 million allotted to the DOE’s exascale computing project, spending on computing research actually falls, and “with all the other cuts in DOE’s science programs, it’s not clear what all that extra computing power would be used to do.”

The President’s budget slashes DOE Office of Science funding 17 percent from enacted 2017 levels to $4.47 billion with five out of six research programs (all but ASCR) slated to receive steep cuts.

+ Basic energy sciences (BES), which funds research in chemistry, materials sciences, and condensed matter physics, would see its budget contract by 16.9 percent to $1.555 billion.

+ High energy physics (HEP) program would receive a cut of 18.4 percent to $673 million.

+ Nuclear physics would see its budget drop 19.1 percent to $503 million.

+ Fusion energy sciences (FES) would be cut by 18.4 percent to $310 million. The FES budget makes $63 million available for ITER, the international fusion experiment under construction in France, but that’s far less than the estimated $230 million the U.S. part of the project requires to stay afloat (as reported by Science in March).

+ The biological and environmental research (BER) program, is hardest hit, facing a 43 percent chop to $349 million. Science reports, “much of that cut would come out of DOE’s climate modeling research.”

The Trump budget, which seeks $54 billion in expanded military spending, carves out additional funding for the NNSA, the organization responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. The NNSA would receive a boost of 7.8 percent, from $12.9 billion to $13.9 billion, while funding for the NNSA’s Advanced Simulation Computing program surges 10.7 percent from $663 million to $734 million.

The NNSA has requested $183 million in FY 2018 “for activities and research leading to deployment of exascale capability for national security applications in the early 2020s.” If funded, the amount would boost the agency’s FY17 exascale budget by $88 million.

$161 million of this proposed exascale allotment (listed as an Exascale Computing Initiative line item, see chart below) is for the NNSA’s Advanced Simulation Computing program. The remaining $22 million (not part of ECI figures) is intended for the construction of exascale-class cooling equipment at Los Alamos National Laboratory (under the Exascale Class Computer Cooling Equipment (ECCCE) project).

Another $3 million (included in the $161 million figure) is proposed for the Exascale Computing Facility Modernization (ECFM) Project at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The purpose of the ECFM project is to fund the facilities and infrastructure upgrades necessary to site an exascale-class system.

Of the nearly $508 million directed at the joint Office of Science-NNSA Exascale Computing Initiative (ECI), $346.58 million would flow into Office of Science coffers with $161 million going to the NNSA’s Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) program.


The DOE request contains new insights into the accelerated exascale timeline, revealed in December. The proposal calls for an exascale machine to be deployed at Argonne in 2021, followed by a second exascale-capable system with a different advanced architecture at Oak Ridge. (Of course, as with everything in this proposed budget, nothing is set in stone.)

Of the $346,580,000 Office of Science ECI Request, $196,580,000 is slotted for the ECP project “to accelerate research and the preparation of applications, develop a software stack for both exascale platforms, and support additional co-design centers in preparation for exascale system deployment in 2021.” The remaining $150,000,000 would fund Leadership Computing Facilities, “to begin planning, non-recurring engineering, and site preparations for the intended deployment of at least one exascale system in 2021.”

Besides signalling a commitment to a strong, and globally competitive U.S. exascale program, what stands out here is the shift in total exascale funding toward NNSA. The agency’s share of the pie has gone from 25 percent in FY16 to 32 percent in FY17 and (proposed) FY18. (Plugging in the $183 million NNSA exascale funding figure would push that to nearly 36 percent.)

While we’ve just scratched the surface of the budget’s implications for science and advanced computing, in the big picture, there is little chance the final FY18 version will bear a close resemblance to the Trump plan (which is essentially a fleshed out version of the “skinny budget” that was modeled after the Heritage Foundation blueprint). The budget has not been well-received by either side of the political aisle and has been widely criticized for too-steep cuts and unrealistic accounting practices.

“There’s this rosy optimism that somehow growth will magically occur, and yet it cuts the principal source of that growth,” said Rush Holt, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, cited in a Washington Post article. Yet “[the proposal] savages research. Economists are clear: That’s where we ultimately get our economic growth.”

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a prominent U.S. science and technology think tank, released a statement that read in part:

The United States has suffered for more than a decade from chronic underinvestment in basic science, research and development, and technology commercialization, and from insufficient support for small manufacturers. Further reducing federal investment in these kinds of foundational goods will set back the country even further—undermining economic growth, causing standards of living to stagnate, and putting prosperity at risk for future generations of Americans. Yet the administration’s budget calls for a nearly 10 percent cut for non-defense R&D. The administration needs to recognize there is a big difference between wasteful spending and critical investments that ensure the U.S. economy, citizens, and businesses thrive. Targeted federal government programs of the sort the administration is suggesting Congress cut are widely used by even the most conservative Republican governors to help businesses in their states compete.

Further reading:

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/what-s-trump-s-2018-budget-request-science

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/05/22/trump-budget-seeks-huge-cuts-to-disease-prevention-and-medical-research-departments/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/05/22/epa-remains-top-target-with-trump-administration-proposing-31-percent-budget-cut/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/05/23/larry-summers-trumps-budget-is-simply-ludicrous/

https://itif.org/publications/2017/05/23/trump-budget-proposal-undermines-us-innovation-and-competitiveness

–John Russell contributed to this report.

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!

Simulating Car Crashes with Supercomputers – and Lego

October 18, 2019

It’s an experiment many of us have carried out at home: crashing two Lego creations into each other, bricks flying everywhere. But for the researchers at the General German Automobile Club (ADAC) – which is comparabl Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

NASA Uses Deep Learning to Monitor Solar Weather

October 17, 2019

Solar flares may be best-known as sci-fi MacGuffins, but those flares – and other space weather – can have serious impacts on not only spacecraft and satellites, but also on Earth-based systems such as radio communic Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Federated Learning Applied to Cancer Research

October 17, 2019

The ability to share and analyze data while protecting patient privacy is giving medical researchers a new tool in their efforts to use what one vendor calls “federated learning” to train models based on diverse data Read more…

By George Leopold

Using AI to Solve One of the Most Prevailing Problems in CFD

October 17, 2019

How can artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) solve mesh generation, one of the most commonly referenced problems in computational engineering? A new study has set out to answer this question and create an industry-first AI-mesh application... Read more…

By James Sharpe

NSB 2020 S&E Indicators Dig into Workforce and Education

October 16, 2019

Every two years the National Science Board is required by Congress to issue a report on the state of science and engineering in the U.S. This year, in a departure from past practice, the NSB has divided the 2020 S&E Read more…

By John Russell

AWS Solution Channel

Making High Performance Computing Affordable and Accessible for Small and Medium Businesses with HPC on AWS

High performance computing (HPC) brings a powerful set of tools to a broad range of industries, helping to drive innovation and boost revenue in finance, genomics, oil and gas extraction, and other fields. Read more…

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Intel FPGAs: More Than Just an Accelerator Card

FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) acceleration cards are not new, as they’ve been commercially available since 1984. Typically, the emphasis around FPGAs has centered on the fact that they’re programmable accelerators, and that they can truly offer workload specific hardware acceleration solutions without requiring custom silicon. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

How Do We Power the New Industrial Revolution?

[Attend the IBM LSF, HPC & AI User Group Meeting at SC19 in Denver on November 19!]

Almost everyone is talking about artificial intelligence (AI). Read more…

What’s New in HPC Research: Rabies, Smog, Robots & More

October 14, 2019

In this bimonthly feature, HPCwire highlights newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From parallel programming to exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Using AI to Solve One of the Most Prevailing Problems in CFD

October 17, 2019

How can artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) solve mesh generation, one of the most commonly referenced problems in computational engineering? A new study has set out to answer this question and create an industry-first AI-mesh application... Read more…

By James Sharpe

NSB 2020 S&E Indicators Dig into Workforce and Education

October 16, 2019

Every two years the National Science Board is required by Congress to issue a report on the state of science and engineering in the U.S. This year, in a departu Read more…

By John Russell

Crystal Ball Gazing: IBM’s Vision for the Future of Computing

October 14, 2019

Dario Gil, IBM’s relatively new director of research, painted a intriguing portrait of the future of computing along with a rough idea of how IBM thinks we’ Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Simulates Braking – on Mars

October 14, 2019

NASA is planning to send humans to Mars by the 2030s – and landing on the surface will be considerably trickier than landing a rover like Curiosity. To solve Read more…

By Staff report

Trovares Drives Memory-Driven, Property Graph Analytics Strategy with HPE

October 10, 2019

Trovares, a high performance property graph analytics company, has partnered with HPE and its Superdome Flex memory-driven servers on a cybersecurity capability the companies say “routinely” runs near-time workloads on 24TB-capacity systems... Read more…

By Doug Black

Intel, Lenovo Join Forces on HPC Cluster for Flatiron

October 9, 2019

An HPC cluster with deep learning techniques will be used to process petabytes of scientific data as part of workload-intensive projects spanning astrophysics to genomics. AI partners Intel and Lenovo said they are providing... Read more…

By George Leopold

Optimizing Offshore Wind Farms with Supercomputer Simulations

October 9, 2019

Offshore wind farms offer a number of benefits; many of the areas with the strongest winds are located offshore, and siting wind farms offshore ameliorates many of the land use concerns associated with onshore wind farms. Some estimates say that, if leveraged, offshore wind power... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Harvard Deploys Cannon, New Lenovo Water-Cooled HPC Cluster

October 9, 2019

Harvard's Faculty of Arts & Sciences Research Computing (FASRC) center announced a refresh of their primary HPC resource. The new cluster, called Cannon after the pioneering American astronomer Annie Jump Cannon, is supplied by Lenovo... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Supercomputer-Powered AI Tackles a Key Fusion Energy Challenge

August 7, 2019

Fusion energy is the Holy Grail of the energy world: low-radioactivity, low-waste, zero-carbon, high-output nuclear power that can run on hydrogen or lithium. T Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

DARPA Looks to Propel Parallelism

September 4, 2019

As Moore’s law runs out of steam, new programming approaches are being pursued with the goal of greater hardware performance with less coding. The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency is launching a new programming effort aimed at leveraging the benefits of massive distributed parallelism with less sweat. Read more…

By George Leopold

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Launches Epyc Rome, First 7nm CPU

August 8, 2019

From a gala event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco yesterday (Aug. 7), AMD launched its second-generation Epyc Rome x86 chips, based on its 7nm proce Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Ayar Labs to Demo Photonics Chiplet in FPGA Package at Hot Chips

August 19, 2019

Silicon startup Ayar Labs continues to gain momentum with its DARPA-backed optical chiplet technology that puts advanced electronics and optics on the same chip Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Using AI to Solve One of the Most Prevailing Problems in CFD

October 17, 2019

How can artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) solve mesh generation, one of the most commonly referenced problems in computational engineering? A new study has set out to answer this question and create an industry-first AI-mesh application... Read more…

By James Sharpe

D-Wave’s Path to 5000 Qubits; Google’s Quantum Supremacy Claim

September 24, 2019

On the heels of IBM’s quantum news last week come two more quantum items. D-Wave Systems today announced the name of its forthcoming 5000-qubit system, Advantage (yes the name choice isn’t serendipity), at its user conference being held this week in Newport, RI. Read more…

By John Russell

Chinese Company Sugon Placed on US ‘Entity List’ After Strong Showing at International Supercomputing Conference

June 26, 2019

After more than a decade of advancing its supercomputing prowess, operating the world’s most powerful supercomputer from June 2013 to June 2018, China is keep Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

ISC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
GOOGLE
GOOGLE
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Hardware That Powered the Black Hole Image

June 24, 2019

Two months ago, the first-ever image of a black hole took the internet by storm. A team of scientists took years to produce and verify the striking image – an Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Intel Confirms Retreat on Omni-Path

August 1, 2019

Intel Corp.’s plans to make a big splash in the network fabric market for linking HPC and other workloads has apparently belly-flopped. The chipmaker confirmed to us the outlines of an earlier report by the website CRN that it has jettisoned plans for a second-generation version of its Omni-Path interconnect... Read more…

By Staff report

Crystal Ball Gazing: IBM’s Vision for the Future of Computing

October 14, 2019

Dario Gil, IBM’s relatively new director of research, painted a intriguing portrait of the future of computing along with a rough idea of how IBM thinks we’ Read more…

By John Russell

Kubernetes, Containers and HPC

September 19, 2019

Software containers and Kubernetes are important tools for building, deploying, running and managing modern enterprise applications at scale and delivering enterprise software faster and more reliably to the end user — while using resources more efficiently and reducing costs. Read more…

By Daniel Gruber, Burak Yenier and Wolfgang Gentzsch, UberCloud

Intel Debuts Pohoiki Beach, Its 8M Neuron Neuromorphic Development System

July 17, 2019

Neuromorphic computing has received less fanfare of late than quantum computing whose mystery has captured public attention and which seems to have generated mo Read more…

By John Russell

Rise of NIH’s Biowulf Mirrors the Rise of Computational Biology

July 29, 2019

The story of NIH’s supercomputer Biowulf is fascinating, important, and in many ways representative of the transformation of life sciences and biomedical res Read more…

By John Russell

Quantum Bits: Neven’s Law (Who Asked for That), D-Wave’s Steady Push, IBM’s Li-O2- Simulation

July 3, 2019

Quantum computing’s (QC) many-faceted R&D train keeps slogging ahead and recently Japan is taking a leading role. Yesterday D-Wave Systems announced it ha Read more…

By John Russell

With the Help of HPC, Astronomers Prepare to Deflect a Real Asteroid

September 26, 2019

For years, NASA has been running simulations of asteroid impacts to understand the risks (and likelihoods) of asteroids colliding with Earth. Now, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are preparing for the next, crucial step in planetary defense against asteroid impacts: physically deflecting a real asteroid. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

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