USA invests USD 258 million in exascale supercomputing - contracts for 6 companies - US companies only - Lesson for EuroHPC?

16 Jun 2017 Washington - The U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced that six U.S. technology companies will receive funding from the Department of Energy's Exascale Computing Project (ECP) as part of its new PathForward programme, accelerating the research necessary to deploy the nation's first exascale supercomputers. It are US companies only. The European exascale programme is still struggling how to implement exascale supercomputing using European technology. Is the American example a lesson for EuroHPC? The six U.S companies are: Advanced Micro Devices (AMD); Cray Inc. (CRAY); Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE); International Business Machines (IBM); Intel Corp. (Intel); and NVIDIA Corp. (NVIDIA).

The awardees will receive funding for research and development to maximize the energy efficiency and overall performance of future large-scale supercomputers, which are critical for U.S. leadership in areas such as national security, manufacturing, industrial competitiveness, and energy and earth sciences. The $258 million in funding will be allocated over a three-year contract period, with companies providing additional funding amounting to at least 40 percent of their total project cost, bringing the total investment to at least $430 million.

The Department's funding for this programme is supporting R&D in three areas - hardware technology, software technology, and application development - with the intention of delivering at least one exascale-capable system by 2021.


“AMD is excited to extend its long-term computing partnership with the U.S. Government in its PathForward programme for exascale computing. We are thrilled to see AMD's unique blend of high-performance computing and graphics technologies drive the industry forward and enable breakthroughs like exascale computing. This technology collaboration will drive outstanding performance and power-efficiency on applications ranging from scientific computing to machine learning and data analytics. As part of PathForward, AMD will explore processors, memory architectures, and high-speed interconnects to improve the performance, power-efficiency, and programmability of exascale systems. This effort emphasizes an open, standards-based approach to heterogeneous computing as well as co-design with the Exascale Computing Project (ECP) teams to foster innovation and achieve the Department of Energy's goals for capable exascale systems", stated Dr. Lisa Su, president and CEO.

“At Cray, our focus is on innovation and advancing supercomputing technologies that allow customers to solve their most demanding scientific, engineering, and data-intensive problems. We are honored to play an important role in the Department of Energy's Exascale Computing Project, as we collaboratively explore new advances in system and node technology and architectures. By pursuing improvements in sustained performance, power efficiency, scalability, and reliability, the ECP’s PathForward programme will help make significant advancements towards exascale computing", stated Peter Ungaro, president and CEO.

“The U.S. Department of Energy has selected HPE to rethink the fundamental architecture of supercomputers to make exascale computing a reality. This is strong validation of our vision, strategy and execution capabilities as a systems company with deep expertise in Memory-Driven Computing, VLSI, photonics, non-volatile memory, software and systems design. Once operational, these systems will help our customers to accelerate research and development in science and technology", stated Mike Vildibill, vice president, Advanced Technology Programs.

“Intel is investing to offer a balanced portfolio of products for high performance computing that are essential to not only achieving Exascale class computing, but also to drive breakthrough capability across the entire ecosystem. This research with the US Department of Energy focused on advanced computing and I/O technologies will accelerate the deployment of leading HPC solutions that contribute to scientific discovery for economic and societal benefits for the United States and people around the world. These gains will impact many application domains and be realized in traditional high performance simulations as well as data analytics and the rapidly growing field of artificial intelligence", stated Al Gara, Intel Fellow, Data Center Group Chief Architect, Exascale Systems.

“IBM has a roadmap for future Data Centric Systems to deliver enterprise-strength Cloud services and on-premise mission-critical application performance for our customers. We are excited to once again work with the DOE and we believe the PathForward programme will help accelerate our capabilities to deliver cognitive, flexible, cost-effective and energy efficient exascale-class systems for a wide variety of important workloads", stated Michael Rosenfield, vice president of Data Centric Solutions, IBM Research.

“NVIDIA has been researching and developing faster, more efficient GPUs for high performance computing (HPC) for more than a decade. This is our sixth DOE research and development contract, which will help accelerate our efforts to develop highly efficient throughput computing technologies to ensure U.S. leadership in HPC. Our R&D will focus on critical areas including energy-efficient GPU architectures and resilience. We're particularly proud of the work we’ve been doing to help the DOE achieve exascale performance at a fraction of the power of traditional compute architectures", stated Dr. Bill Dally, chief scientist and senior vice president of research.

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