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IBM and Lawrence Livermore researchers form ‘Deep Computing Solutions’ collaboration to boost US industrial competitiveness

June 27, 2012 No Comments


Researchers at IBM and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) today announced that they are broadening their 20-year partnership in high performance computing (HPC) by joining forces to work with industrial partners to boost their competitiveness in the global economy.

Under a recently concluded agreement, IBM and LLNL will form Deep Computing Solutions, an HPC collaboration inside LLNL’s High Performance Computing Innovation Center (HPCIC). Announced one year ago in June 2011, the HPCIC was created to help American industry harness the power of supercomputing to better compete in the global marketplace ( ). Deep Computing Solutions brings a new dimension to the HPCIC, adding IBM’s computational science expertise to LLNL’s own, for the benefit of mutual partners.

LLNL’s HPC Innovation Center aims to become the nation’s premier provider of advanced computing solutions to understand and manage complex systems that underlie 21st century technology. Working within the center, Deep Computing Solutions will deploy the complementary strengths of IBM and LLNL to develop and implement industrial strength solutions that address its clients’ enterprise-critical problems for commercial advantage.

Computer and domain science experts from IBM Research and LLNL will work together with a broad range of American industry collaborators to devise HPC solutions that accelerate the development of new technologies, products and services. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to: applied energy; green energy, including renewable(s); biology; materials science; fabrication; manufacturing; data management; and informatics.

For example, a company pursuing green energy solutions might engage Deep Computing Solutions to do real-time responsive electrical grid management, improve engineering designs for higher efficiencies or implement large scale plant management and optimization to reduce energy costs. Other possible applications include improved agricultural processes and improved production processes for consumer foods for reduced cost, enhanced nutrition and quality.

The HPCIC effort addresses a broader national security imperative concerning economic competitiveness. “Maintaining a technological edge over the competition in the global marketplace is vital to both national security and the country’s economic prosperity. Deep Computing Solutions will be an important ingredient of the HPC Innovation Center, building on IBM and LLNL’s mutual experience in applying HPC to complex technical problems. Together we will help equip US industry with the tools for technological innovation needed to stay ahead of the global competition,” said Frederick Streitz, director of the HPCIC.

“Deep Computing Solutions will deploy a complete range of experienced researchers and developers from both IBM and LLNL to develop and implement robust solutions for its clients that can address even the most enterprise-critical challenges, such as processing very large data sets to fuel competitive insights,” said James Sexton, program director, Computational Science Center, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, NY.  “The potential is to aggressively increase the rate and pace of innovation for our clients and to deliver significant economic impact to the US as a result.”

High performance computing has the potential to provide ground-breaking impact in research and industrial applications. However, it has remained inaccessible to the broad community because its deployment requires access to such special expertise and systems. LLNL’s HPC Innovation Center and Deep Computing Solutions will directly address the accessibility problem that limits development and deployment of advanced computing solutions by industrial and commercial organizations.
LLNL has procured a four Petaflop (quadrillion floating point operations per second) system to support HPCIC and Deep Computing Solutions efforts as well as unclassified National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) research programs, academic alliances and LLNL institutional science and technology efforts. Called Vulcan, the new 24-rack IBM Blue Gene/Q system based on the POWER architecture will be delivered in Summer 2012. Vulcan is part of the contract that brought Sequoia, the 16 Petaflop Blue Gene/Q machine recently ranked no. 1 on the TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers, to Livermore.

The NNSA/LLNL/IBM partnership has produced six HPC systems that have been ranked among the world’s most powerful computers including: The Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI) Blue Pacific; ASCI White; the Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) Purple; Blue Gene/L; Blue Gene/P, Dawn; and Blue Gene/Q, Sequoia. ASCI White, Blue Gene/L and now Sequoia all attained a number one ranking on the TOP500 list. The Blue Gene line of supercomputers received a Presidential Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Barack Obama in 2010.

The partnership has a strong record of award winning science and technology innovation. Research teams from LLNL and IBM running breakthrough calculations on Blue Gene/L, the first generation Blue Gene system, garnered a total of five Gordon Bell Prizes, the prestigious award for innovations that advance HPC and the science it makes possible.

The HPCIC resides in Livermore’s open campus collaboration area. See the HPCIC Website for more information:

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