Researchers Advance Scientific Computing With Record-Setting Simulations

ACM news – 03/12/2012

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) researchers have for the first time exceeded a sustained performance level of 10 petaflops on the Sequoia supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The researchers used the recently developed Hardware/Hybrid Accelerated Cosmology Codes (HACC) framework to achieve nearly 14 petaflops. HACC enables researchers to simulate entire survey-sized volumes of the universe at a high resolution, with the ability to track billions of individual galaxies. The HACC framework is designed for extreme performance in the weak scaling limit by integrating algorithms and programming paradigms to adapt to different computer architectures. The LLNL researchers also created Cardioid, a simulation program that models a beating human heart at near-cellular resolution. The researchers achieved a performance of almost 12 petaflops on Sequoia, and demonstrated the ability to model a highly resolved whole heart beating in near real time. “The performance of these applications on Mira and Sequoia provides an early glimpse of the transformational science these machines make possible,” says DOE researcher Barbara Helland. “By pushing the state-of-the-art, these two teams of scientists are advancing science and also the know-how to use these new resources to produce insight and discovery.”

More info: Argonne National Laboratory (11/28/12)

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