PathForward

Lead: Bronis de Supinski, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

PathForward seeks to prepare the US industry for exascale system procurements and generally improve US competitiveness in the worldwide computing market. Evidenced by CORAL2 offerings, PathForward successfully influences US high-performance computing (HPC) vendors to maintain focus on designing and building much more powerful and balanced computers for US Department of Energy simulation workloads.

Description: PathForward is the follow-on to FastForward and DesignForward, and it seeks to prepare the US industry for exascale system procurements and generally improve US competitiveness in the worldwide computing market. An open PathForward request for proposal (RFP) was released in 2016. PathForward sought responses that would improve application performance and developer productivity while maximizing the energy efficiency and reliability of an exascale system. The RFP asked for R&D that would:

  • Substantially improve the competitiveness of the HPC exascale system proposals in which application performance figures of merit are the most important criteria,
  • Improve responders’ confidence in the value and feasibility of aggressive advanced technology options so that they are willing to submit proposals for the HPC exascale system acquisitions, and
  • Identify the most promising technology options that would be included in proposals for the HPC exascale systems.

Following a rigorous review process, six responses were selected for award, and contract negotiations began. All six selected responses successfully led to contracts that were awarded and announced in June 2017. The six awardees were Advanced Micro Devices, Cray Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, International Business Machines, Intel Corp., and NVIDIA Corp.

The PathForward program is concluding in 2021 since critical early hardware R&D activities related to planned exascale systems will be complete.

 

Lead: Bronis de Supinski, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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