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Institute for Advanced Architectures and Algorithms

In the next few years, tremendous increases in supercomputer capability will revolutionize the way science is done, and predictive computer simulations will play a critical role in national security, energy, scientific discovery, and national competitiveness. The dramatic increase in computing power at the microprocessor level will be driven by a rapid escalation in the number of cores incorporated into a single chip rather than increases in clock rate. The transition from massively parallel architectures to multi-core architectures will be as profound and challenging as the change from vector architectures to massively parallel computers that occurred in the early 1990’s that enabled our Nation and the U.S. Department of Energy to break the teraflop barrier. To effectively use the next generation of computers the nation must solve a host of architectural challenges in hardware and software.

Hardware challenges:

  • Moore ’s Law still holds, but clock speed is constrained by power and cooling limits
  • Processors are shifting to multi/many core with attendant hierarchical parallelism
  • Compute nodes with hardware accelerators create the additional complexity of heterogeneous architectures
  • Processor cost is increasingly driven by pins and packaging, which means the memory wall is growing in proportion to the number of cores on a processor socket
  • Supercomputer architectures must be designed with an understanding of the applications they are intended to run
  • A supercomputer architecture that performs well on full scale real applications cannot be built from only commodity components.

Software challenges:

  • Scaling limitations of present algorithms
  • Hierarchical algorithms to deal with bandwidth across the memory hierarchy
  • Software strategies to mitigate high memory latencies
  • More complex multi-physics requires large memory per node
  • Need for automated fault tolerance, performance analysis, and verification
  • Innovative algorithms for multi-core, heterogeneous nodes

To meet these challenges, Sandia and Oak Ridge have established the Institute for Advanced Architectures and Algorithms (IAA). Sandia and Oak Ridge will build upon their long history of collaborating together, strong ties to universities, and successful industry collaborations. The IAA is a premier example of a National Laboratory–Industry–University collaboration aimed at maintaining our global leadership in Science and Technology, and future competitiveness.

Read the press release from EETimes.

Director: Jeff Nichols
Email: nicholsja@ornl.gov
Phone: 865-574-6224
Fax: 865-574-6076
Technical Director : Stephen Poole
Email: spoole@ornl.gov
Phone: 865-574-9008
Fax: 865-574-6076

Steering Committee:




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