June 21, 2017
News Release

PNNL Helping to Design Tomorrow's Exascale Supercomputers


Researcher Mahantesh Halappanavar and his colleagues on the Exascale Computing Project are developing methods and techniques to efficiently implement key combinatorial algorithms.

Supercomputers help design automobiles and aircraft, create new medical drugs and discover the mysteries of the universe. Now, in a column for the Tri-City Herald, the director of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Steve Ashby, introduces a new national collaboration to take supercomputers to the next level of performance.

Under leadership from the Department of Energy, the Exascale Computing Project seeks to deliver a computer by 2021 that can perform one quintillion — or a billion billion — calculations per second. This is like every person in the United States harnessing the collective power of 300 million PCs to solve a single problem. And, it's 10 times faster than the current record holder in China.

The collaboration will redesign and reinvent the hardware, system software and applications that would be used for an exascale computer. PNNL researchers will take the lead on a testbed for an exascale machine by providing a first-of-its-kind computing proving ground, much like test tracks for automobiles. The testbed will include both measurements and simulations to assess performance.

PNNL will also develop applications at the same time these future computing systems are being developed. Such applications will explore computational chemistry and the electric grid.

Read more about PNNL's foray into exascale computing in Ashby's column.

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About PNNL

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory draws on its distinguishing strengths in chemistry, Earth sciences, biology and data science to advance scientific knowledge and address challenges in sustainable energy and national security. Founded in 1965, PNNL is operated by Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science. For more information on PNNL, visit PNNL's News Center. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Published: June 21, 2017