DOE Calls For Supercomputing Proposals - InformationWeek

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5/16/2007
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DOE Calls For Supercomputing Proposals

Agency's INCITE program will award up to 250 million processor hours to researchers next year.

The U.S. Department of Energy has requested project proposals from researchers in need of supercomputing power.

DOE announced Wednesday that its Office of Science plans to award up to 250 million processor hours next year. According to DOE, that's almost three times the amount awarded this year.

The processor hours, data storage, and technical support are granted through DOE's Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, which has drawn increasing interest since its inception five years ago.

"The demand for access to INCITE supercomputing resources has far exceeded what is available even though total allocations have soared from just three million hours in 2004 to 250 million hours next year," DOE Undersecretary for Science Raymond L. Orbach, Ph.D., said in a prepared statement. "The breadth of proposals -- from industry, academia, and national labs -- illustrates both the demand for such resources and the contributions computational science are making to our economic and scientific competitiveness."

In 2007, DOE awarded a total of 95 million processor hours for 45 projects. A project receiving one million hours could run on 2,000 processors for 500 hours, or about 21 days. A one-million-hour project on a single-processor desktop would take more than 114 years.

DOE said through an announcement this week that the INCITE program is the only way researchers can request use of supercomputing power from the leadership class Cray Supercomputers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, and the IBM Blue Gene supercomputer at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

Current projects using INCITE's supercomputing resources include studies of surfactant molecules (suds and bubbles), fusion energy in thermonuclear reactors, astrophysics, climate research, geosciences, materials sciences, and accelerator physics.

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