National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI)-Signed!

On July 29th President Barack Obama signed the Executive Order to establish the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI). The role of the NSCI is to coordinate Federal strategy in HPC research, development, and deployment. This is an investment by the government in HPC to spur activities contributing substantially to national economic prosperity and rapidly accelerated scientific discovery. The initiative is very broad, but it includes one very specific task: build the world’s  first exascale supercomputer.

With a target processing power of 1 exaflops= (-1,000-petaflops-), or 30 times faster than toady’s fastest supercomputers (the Tianhe-2, located in the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou, China, and the Titan located the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee) this would put the US back in the world lead in supercomputing.

Within the order he outlined the following five objectives.

1) Accelerating delivery of a capable exascale computing system that integrates hardware and software capability to deliver approximately 100 times the performance of current 10 petaflop systems across a range of applications representing government needs.

2) Increasing coherence between the technology base used for modeling and simulation and that used for data analytic computing.

3) Establishing, over the next 15 years, a viable path forward for future HPC systems even after the limits of current semiconductor technology are reached (the “post-Moore’s Law era”).

4) Increasing the capacity and capability of an enduring national HPC ecosystem by employing a holistic approach that addresses relevant factors such as networking technology, workflow, downward scaling, foundational algorithms and software, accessibility, and workforce development.

5) Developing an enduring public-private collaboration to ensure that the benefits of the research and development advances are, to the greatest extent, shared between the United States Government and industrial and academic sectors.

Three of the lead agencies named within the order are Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). “The DOE Office of Science and DOE National Nuclear Security Administration will execute a joint program focused on advanced simulation through a capable exascale computing program emphasizing sustained performance on relevant applications and analytic computing to support their missions. NSF will play a central role in scientific discovery advances, the broader HPC ecosystem for scientific discovery, and workforce development. DOD will focus on data analytic computing to support its mission.”