Thursday, September 07, 2006

DOE Seeks Proposals for Expanded Large-Scale Scientific Computing

Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman announced today that the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is seeking new proposals to support innovative, large-scale computational science projects. Successful proposals will be given the use of substantial computer time and data storage on some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world that reside in the department’s scientific computing centers in Berkeley, Calif.; Argonne, Ill.; Oak Ridge, Tenn.; and Richland, Wash.

“Since launching INCITE in 2003, both the number of proposals and amount of computing time requested indicate that high-performance computing resources, such as those at our national labs are in high demand,” Secretary Bodman said. “This unique program opens up the world of high-performance computing to a broader research community. So far, INCITE has enabled scientists to make significant progress in such key research areas as combustion, astrophysics, protein structure, chemistry and engineering.”

Each year, the Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program seeks computationally intensive, large-scale research projects. The program encourages proposals from universities, other research institutions and industry. Industry is specifically solicited to propose challenging problems that may be solved using high-performance computing systems. The Office of Science expects to make a small number of large awards. In 2005, 15 projects were awarded a total of 18 million processor-hours from the 43 proposals submitted, which requested a total of 95 million process-hours of computing time.

In 2007, the INCITE program will provide an opportunity for researchers to request time on the new Leadership Class Cray supercomputers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Other Office of Science computing resources available for the INCITE program include the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) resources at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Hewlett-Packard massively parallel system at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the IBM Blue Gene/L system at Argonne National Laboratory. In the past, these advanced computers have not been commonly available to academia or the private sector.

“The array of high performance computing systems now available through the INCITE program means that researchers can bring appropriate computational architectures to bear on problems that were previously thought to be unsolvable,” said Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, DOE Under Secretary for Science. “When you combine these resources with the sophisticated technical support available through our computing centers, it’s no wonder that we are receiving more requests than we can accommodate — and seeing results that are groundbreaking.”

INCITE proposals will be peer reviewed both in the area of proposed research and also for general scientific merit, comparing them with proposals in other disciplines. Current Department of Energy sponsorship is not required for this program. DOE plans to announce the awards in December.


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