The Department of Energy (DOE) has compelling real-world challenges that will not be met by existing vendor roadmaps. In response to these challenges, DOE’s Office of Science (SC) and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) initiated an R&D program called FastForward that established partnerships with multiple companies to accelerate the R&D of critical technologies needed for extreme-scale computing. The follow-on FastForward2 program focuses on two areas: Node Architecture and Memory Technology. The timeframe for the productization of the resulting Node Architecture and Memory Technology projects in 2020-2023.
The Node Architecture focus area broadens the previous FastForward focus on processors to include the entire architecture of a compute node. Both the node hardware and any necessary enabling software are in scope. The Memory Technology focus area includes technologies that could be used in multiple vendors’ systems. Processor-in-memory (PIM) research is performed since the resulting technologies could be used in multiple vendors’ node designs.
The technology projects were chosen based on their ability to maximize energy and computational efficiency while increasing the performance, productivity, and reliability of key DOE extreme-scale applications. Project teams leverage the DOE SC and NNSA Co-Design Centers to ensure solutions are aligned with DOE needs.
This public-private partnership between industry and the DOE will aid the development of technology that reduces economic and manufacturing barriers to building systems that deliver exascale performance, and the partnership will also further DOE’s goal that the selected technologies should have the potential to impact low-power embedded, cloud/datacenter and midrange HPC applications. This ensures that DOE’s investment furthers a sustainable software/hardware ecosystem supported by applications across not only HPC but also the broader IT industry. This breadth will result in an increase in the consortium’s ability to leverage commercial developments.