Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, California, recently announced a contract with IBM to deliver a next-generation supercomputer in 2017. The system, to be called Sierra, will serve the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Advanced Simulation and Computing program. Procurement of Sierra is part of the U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored Collaboration of Oak Ridge, Argonne and Lawrence Livermore (CORAL) national labs to accelerate the development of high-performance computing. CORAL will result in delivery to each laboratory of a supercomputer expected to provide about five times the performance of today’s top systems.
Livermore and Oak Ridge will work with IBM, NVIDIA and Mellanox to deploy systems of about 150 petaflops to advance science and ensure national security. Sierra also will be used for weapons’ science and engineering calculations, as opposed to estimating the performance of an integrated system. Argonne is expected to finalize a contract at a later date. Exascale supercomputers, expected in the next decade, will be about 1,000 times more powerful than today’s petaflops (quadrillions of operations per second) systems, with exascale operating at a quintillion operations per second.
The Department of Energy also announced funding awards, totaling $100 million, for leading high-performance computing companies to develop exascale computing technologies under the FastForward 2 program managed by LLNL on behalf of the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Department of Energy Office of Science.