STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss., Feb. 17 — The Navy Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Center (DSRC) is pleased to announce that it will receive the largest, most capable supercomputing system procured to date in the Department of Defense (DoD) High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP).
At a peak theoretical computing capability of 12.8 petaflops, or 12.8 quadrillion floating point operations per second, the multi-million dollar Cray Shasta supercomputer will be the first high-performance computing system in the HPCMP to provide over ten petaflops of computing power to Department of Defense scientists, researchers, and engineers. It will be housed and operated at the Navy DSRC at Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi.
That projected computing capability of the new system puts it in good company: today, it would be ranked among the top 25 most capable supercomputers in the world when compared to the current list at Top500.org, which ranks the world’s most powerful non-distributed computer systems.
“The investment and increase in supercomputing power at the Navy DSRC at Stennis Space Center is absolutely critical to Naval Oceanography delivering future capability upgrades to global and regional ocean and atmospheric prediction systems, to include later this year the Navy’s first Earth Systems Prediction Capability,” said Commander, Navy Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC) Rear Adm. John Okon.
“Naval Oceanography’s ability to be the Department of Defense’s authoritative source for characterizing and applying data of the physical battlespace into a decisive advantage for naval, joint and allied forces hinges on the continual upgrade and advancements in high-performance computing from the High Performance Computing Modernization Program.”
The Cray Shasta supercomputer will feature 290,304 AMD EPYC 7002-series processor cores and 112 NVIDIA Volta V100 General-Purpose Graphics Processing Units (GPGPUs), interconnected by a 200 gigabit per second Cray Slingshot network. The system will also feature 590 total terabytes (TB) of memory and 14 petabytes (PB) of usable storage, including 1 PB of NVMe-based solid state storage.
The Navy DSRC and the HPCMP offer supercomputing capability to the DoD Science and Technology (S&T), Test and Evaluation (T&E), and Acquisition Engineering communities in support of various research efforts within the DoD, including aircraft and ship design, environmental quality modeling, and other projects to maintain the U.S. military’s advantage over potential adversaries.
In particular, Navy DSRC supercomputers support climate, weather, and ocean modeling by NMOC, which assists U.S. Navy meteorologists and oceanographers in predicting environmental conditions that may affect the Navy fleet. Among other scientific endeavors, the new supercomputer will be used to enhance weather forecasting models; ultimately, this improves the accuracy of hurricane intensity and track forecasts.
The system is expected to be online by early fiscal year 2021.
“Our center is pleased to continue over twenty-five years of excellence in providing highly available supercomputers for the Department of Defense,” said Christine Cuicchi, Director of the Navy DSRC. “While the new supercomputer itself will be quite the workhorse, it is complemented by a host of additional tools and services that the Navy DSRC offers in support of DoD users’ research activities.
“Most people wouldn’t expect Mississippi to be one of the premier locations for large-scale supercomputing,” said Cuicchi, “but we are, and this new system will solidify our presence in the HPC community.”
Navy DSRC currently provides almost 12 petaflops of aggregate supercomputing capability to the Department of Defense. It is one of five DoD Supercomputing Resource Centers (DSRCs) in the DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP), and is operated by NMOC on behalf of the DoD HPCMP.
About the HPCMP
The HPCMP provides the Department of Defense supercomputing capabilities, high-speed network communications and computational science expertise that enable DoD scientists and engineers to conduct a wide-range of focused research and development, test and evaluation, and acquisition engineering activities. This partnership puts advanced technology in the hands of U.S. forces more quickly, less expensively, and with greater certainty of success. Today, the HPCMP provides a comprehensive advanced computing environment for the DoD that includes unique expertise in software development and system design, powerful high performance computing systems, and a premier wide-area research network. The HPCMP is managed on behalf of the Department of Defense by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center located in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Naval Oceanography has approximately 2,500 globally distributed military and civilian personnel, who collect, process and exploit environmental information to assist Fleet and Joint Commanders in all warfare areas to guarantee the U.S. Navy’s freedom of action in the physical battlespace from the depths of the ocean to the stars.