HPCwire Exascale Edition


Thomas Sterling, Ph.D
Thomas Sterling, Ph.D

Professor of Computer Science at Indiana University, a Faculty Associate at California Institute of Technology, and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Bill Gropp, Ph.D
Bill Gropp, Ph.D

Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illionois Urbana-Champaign

The HPCwire Exascale Edition reports to the HPC community on advances contributing to progress towards exascale computing to achieve partical trans-exaflops performance regime. Managed by luminary guest editors, Thomas Sterling and Bill Gropp, this section intends to serve as a medium for conveying persepctives and opinions on issues of technology, applications, and policies driving directions from leaders in the field.

Top Exascale Feature


Nanotech Grand Challenge & Federal Vision for Future Computing

What will computing look like in the post Moore’s Law era? There’s no shortage of ideas. A new federal white paper – A Federal Vision for Future Computing: A Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenge – tackles the ‘what’s next’ question and spells out seven specific research and development priorities and identifies the federal entities responsible. Read more…

More Exascale News & Commentary

Intel Ninja Developer Platform Knights Landing 500x

NERSC is Busily Using Dungeons to Slay Code Dragons

Work to modernize codes for use on the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) Cori supercomputer and its Intel Xeon Phi Knight’s Landing manycore architecture is making steady progress, says NERSC, which has now held eight Dungeon code development sessions with Intel and Cray. The most recent was held earlier this month. These Dungeon sessions, just as the name suggests, bring NERSC researchers together with vendor experts for intense code tweaking sessions. Read more…

Paul Kent, director of the Center for Predictive Simulation of Functional Materials, ORNL

DOE Invests $16M in Supercomputer-based Materials Design

Materials science got a boost today when the Department of Energy announced it would invest $16 million over the next four years to accelerate the design of new materials “through use of supercomputers.” The program will focus on software development with an eye towards being able to eventually run on exascale machines.

Two four-year projects – one team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the other team led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) – will work to develop software to design fundamentally new functional materials for applications in alternative and renewable energy, electronics, and a wide range of other fields. Read more…

National Strategic Computing Initiative (NCSI)

D.C. Workshop Strives to Keep NSCI Flame Burning and Growing

Last Friday, almost exactly one year after President Obama’s Executive Order establishing the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI), the Office of Science and Technology Policy held a workshop in Washington D.C. ostensibly to celebrate NSCI accomplishments so far – and there are many. Just as important, the meeting sought to (re)energize NSCI’s diverse stakeholders, many of whom were early enthusiastic supporters but have become wary because of a perceived lack of action to implement NSCI. Read more…


ISC Workshop Tackles the Co-development Challenge

The long percolating discussion over ‘co-development’ and how best it should be undertaken has gained new urgency in the race towards exascale computing. At a workshop held at ISC2016 last month – Form Follows Function: Do algorithms and applications challenge or drag behind the hardware evolution? – several distinguished panelists offered varying viewpoints. Yesterday, session organizer Tobias Weinzierl posted a summary synopsis of the workshop discussion on arXiv.org. Weinzierl (Durham University) and co-organizer Michael Bader (Technische Universität München) are active participants in the ExaHyPE project (An Exascale Hyperbolic PDE (partial differential equation) Engine, funded by EU’s Horizon 2020 program). Read more…

Weekly Twitter Roundup

Here at HPCwire, we aim to keep the HPC community apprised of the most relevant and interesting news items that get tweeted throughout the week. The tweets that caught our eye this past week are presented below. Check back in next Thursday for an entirely updated list.


Trinity Wrestles with Knights Landing Programming Challenge with COE

Seventy-one years ago, on July 16, 1945, an incredible explosion lit up the New Mexico night sky. This was the Trinity Test, the world’s first nuclear detonation, and it marked the beginning of the Nuclear Age. It also ushered in the age of supercomputers, which essentially began with weapons science at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Now a new Trinity, a next generation Cray XC supercomputer is about to take center stage to help the national security labs achieve their primary mission – to provide the nation with a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent. Read more…

Weekly Twitter Roundup

Here at HPCwire, we aim to keep the HPC community apprised of the most relevant and interesting news items that get tweeted throughout the week. The tweets that caught our eye this past week are presented below. Check back in next Thursday for an entirely updated list.

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Compilers and More: OpenACC to OpenMP (and back again)

In the last year or so, I’ve had several academic researchers ask me whether I thought it was a good idea for them to develop a tool to automatically convert OpenACC programs to OpenMP 4 and vice versa. In each case, the motivation was that some systems had OpenMP 4 compilers (x86 plus Intel Xeon Phi Knights Corner) and others had OpenACC (x86 plus NVIDIA GPU or AMD GPU), and someone wanting to run a program across both would need two slightly different programs. In each case, the proposed research sounded like a more-or-less mechanical translation process, something more like a sophisticated awk script, and that’s doomed from the start. I will explain below in more detail how I came to this conclusion. Read more…
MANGO project 1

MANGO Project Tackles Power, Performance and Predictability for Future HPC

Under the H2020 High Performance Computing call (Towards exascale high performance computing) MANGO project was awarded funding of 5.8 million euro for three years of research till October 2018. Coordinated by prof. Jose Flich from University of Valencia, consortium includes École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Politecnico di Milano, University of Zagreb, Centro Regionale Information Communication Technology and industrial partners: Eaton Corporation, Pro Design Electronic GmbH, Thales Group and Philips. Read more…

Thomas Sterling

Thomas Sterling’s ISC 2016 Closing Keynote

Capturing the sparkle, wit, and selective skewering in Thomas Sterling’s annual closing ISC keynote is challenging. This year was his 13th, which perhaps conveys the engaging manner and substantive content he delivers. Like many in the room, Sterling is an HPC pioneer as well as the director of CREST, the Center for Research in Extreme Scale Technologies, Indiana University. In his ISC talk, Sterling holds up a mirror to the HPC world, shares what he sees, and invites all to look in as well and see what they may. Read more…