Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday said it had been awarded $12.6 million for two research projects associated with the U.S. department of energy’s (DOE) extreme-scale computing research and development program, known as “FastForward”. The DOE award provides up to $9.6 million to AMD for processor-related research and up to $3 million for memory-related research.
FastForward is a jointly funded collaboration between DOE office of science, and national nuclear security administration (NNSA) to initiate partnerships with multiple companies to accelerate the research and development of critical technologies needed for extreme scale computing, on the path toward exascale computing. Exascale supercomputers will be capable of performing one quintillion (or a billion billion) calculations per second, roughly one thousand times faster than today’s fastest available supercomputers.
The development of high performance, energy-efficient processor and memory technologies are critical to achieving the DOE's goals and AMD is initiating innovative designs for these components.
“This award from the DOE will fund critical research and development required to enable high-performance, power-efficient exascale systems. Additionally, AMD will undertake work to drive advances in memory bandwidth and communication speed, which are essential for heterogeneous architecture, exascale-class supercomputers with thousands of processors,” said Alan Lee, AMD’s corporate vice president of research and advanced development.
AMD Opteron processors are used today in many of the world’s leading supercomputers, including IBM’s Roadrunner computer at the DOE’s Los Alamos national laboratory, which in 2008 was the first supercomputer to reach sustained petaflop performance. AMD Opteron processors were also used in the world’s second petascale supercomputer, Cray’s Jaguar supercomputer deployed at Oak Ridge national laboratory. Moreover, the DOE announced last fall that 19200 AMD Opteron 6200-series "Bulldozer" processors will be used to help power their new Titan system also at Oak Ridge national laboratory, which is expected to provide peak performance in excess of 20 petaflops when it becomes fully operational by early 2013. AMD Opteron processors were also selected for the Blue Waters supercomputing project at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.