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Microsoft veteran joins PNNL

April 08, 2009 Share This!

John Feo to lead software development for multi-threaded Cray XMT supercomputers

RICHLAND, Wash. – Computational scientist John Feo has joined the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to lead software development that takes advantage of a different kind of computer hardware. Supercomputers with multi-threaded architecture can analyze vast amounts of data found in complex networks more efficiently than conventional ones. Feo will serve as the director of a group of scientists developing software for the multi-threaded Cray XMT and similar computers.

The XMT's memory is built in such a way that it can handle seemingly random data faster than typical hardware. Feo will direct the fledgling Center for Adaptive Supercomputing Software on the PNNL campus. At the Center, researchers are developing software that can analyze and visualize data coming from many types of complex networks, such as the nation's electrical grid or biological communities in the subsurface, for example.

Feo comes to PNNL from Microsoft Corporation, where he led a group developing new applications for many core processors. Prior to working for Microsoft, Feo spent time at Cray, Inc., where he worked on the early generations of the Cray XMT, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Feo has a doctorate in computer science from the University of Texas, Austin, and a masters in astronomy.

The Center for Adaptive Computing Software is home to the only Cray XMT system available to external scientific users as an Open Science system. The Cray XMT consists of 16 multithreaded processors, 128 gigabyte RAM and a 2.3-terabyte Lustre parallel filesystem.


See related:
Multithreaded computer seeks software for data-intensive computing
High performance computing aids in study of power grid failures

Tags: Computational Science, Operations, Supercomputer, Staff Appointments

Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of about $950 million. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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