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The U.S. DoE invests $39.8 million in its Exascale Computing Project

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September 8, 2016

It was announced late yesterday that the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) has invested $39.8 million for its first round of grants in its new Exascale Computing Project.

The DOE has a rather long history of deploying modern computing capability for science and national security. The DOE’s science, energy assurance, and national security needs will require a thousand-fold increase in usable computing power, delivered as quickly and energy-efficiently as possible.

Those needs, and the ability of high performance computing (HPC) to address other critical issues for national interest, are described in various reports from the ten DOE Scientific Grand Challenges Workshops that were convened in the 2008–2010 timeframe.

The winners include fifteen applications covering twenty-two projects with 45 research and academic participants across the United States.

This first round of funding covers modelling and simulation applications “with a focus on portability, usability and scalability,” the DoE's announcement asserted, and there are two labs that will initially participate in this first round.

Berkeley Lab leads two projects: in one, it will work on applying the Chombo-Crunch software to exascale environments for geophysical mechanics. In the other, it will be developing exascale modelling of particle accelerators.

For its part, Argonne National Lab's major projects cover virtual universe simulations at high fidelity and deep learning for “precision medicine” for cancer research, based on the CANcer Distributed Learning Environment (Candle).

3D printing gets a mention as well, as do statistics and data analysis, combustion science, climate modelling, fusion research, and wind power flow modelling.

The DoE also notes that energy reliability, economic security, pure science, climate and environmental science, and national healthcare are the true focus areas of the ECP.

As well as the funded four-year projects, the DoE's grants also support 3-year seed funding for other various projects in chemistry, urban modelling, stellar explosion models, microbiome analysis and earthquake risk assessments.

Source: The U.S. Department of Energy.

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