DOE Solicits Supercomputer Time Proposals for 2010

Written by on April 17, 2009 in Policy & Ocean Law, Technology
IBM Researcher Examines New IBM Blue Gene P Supercomputer  -- Photo: IBM

IBM Researcher Examines New IBM Blue Gene P Supercomputer -- Photo: IBM

The Department of Energy’s INCITE (Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment) program is inviting proposals for an available 1.3 billion processor hours on its Cray XT supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the IBM Blue Gene/P at Argonne National Laboratory.  The INCITE program awards sizeable allocations (typically, millions of processor-hours per project) on some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers to address grand challenges in science and engineering, such as developing new energy solutions and gaining a better understanding of climate change resulting from energy use.

Current awardees computationally probe topics including next-generation biofuels, medicine, nanotechnology, batteries, combustion, carbon capture and storage, astrophysics, nuclear fusion energy, climate, aeronautical engineering, groundwater, and fundamental physics.  The INCITE program is open to all scientific researchers and research organizations — academic, governmental, and industrial — needing large allocations of computer time, supporting resources, and data storage to pursue transformational advances in science and American industrial competitiveness. Current DOE sponsorship is not required. The intent of INCITE is to support large-scale, computationally intensive projects that would not be possible or productive without petascale computing, which is capable of executing more than a quadrillion calculations each second. Applicants must present evidence that their computational application can make effective use of a significant fraction of the high-performance computing systems offered for allocation.

Among the organizations that received awards in 2009 is The Scripps Institution of Oceanography/University of California at San Diego, where researchers Paola Cessi and Christopher Wolfe are working on a study called “The Role of Eddies in the Meridional Overturning Circulation.”  The Scripps scientists were awarded 5 million processor hours on ANL’s IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer.  According to their research summary, the “goal is to study the processes that maintain the abyssal circulation of the ocean and to understand its response to altered atmospheric composition. Our approach is to analyze high resolution models of the ocean component of the climate system in domains of moderate size, but for a wide range of the external parameters, such as the wind speed, the surface temperature and the abyssal mixing. The proposed research will contribute to establishing the fundamental dynamics of the thermohaline circulation, an essential component of the ocean-atmosphere heat budget and a major player in sequestering CO2 into the deep ocean.”

For all the computer geeks out there (and here), the ANL’s IBM supercomputer is nicknamed “Intrepid.”  According to ANL, Intrepid is “an IBM Blue Gene/P system with 40,960 quad-core compute nodes (163,840 processing cores) and 80 terabytes of memory. Its peak performance is 557 teraflops. Intrepid is used for production scientific and engineering computing. Its compute nodes are each connected to multiple internode networks, including a high-performance, low-latency three-dimensional torus, a highly scalable collective network, and a fast barrier network. GPFS provides a robust and stable home directory file system as well as the parallel input/output data file system.”

Researchers interested in applying or more information can visit the DOE INCITE website here.

Copyright © 2009 Marine Science Today, a publication of OceanLines LLC

About the Author

About the Author: Tom Tripp is the owner of OceanLines Ltd., the publisher of OceanLines and founder and Editor Emeritus of Marine Science Today. He is an award-winning marine journalist, science and aviation writer and long-time public communications specialist. His PR career and much of his writing stems from the fact that he loves to explain stuff. It all began when he and his brother Mark threw all of Mom's tomatoes at the back wall of the house. . . .


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