Energy Department Invites Proposals for Tapping Supercomputing Resources

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy is inviting proposals for innovative, large-scale computational science projects. Researchers will be able to use some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers at DOE national laboratories. The advanced computers are not commonly available in academia or the private sector.

DOE’s Office of Science expects to award up to 250 million processor hours in 2008, nearly three times the amount awarded in 2007. The allocations of supercomputing and data storage resources along with technical support will be made under DOE’s Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program for computationally intensive, large-scale research projects. The five-year old 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 demand for access to INCITE supercomputing resources has far exceeded what is available even though total allocations have soared from just three million hours in 2004 to 250 million hours next year,” Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, DOE’s Under Secretary for Science, said. “The breadth of proposals – from industry, academia and national labs – illustrates both the demand for such resources and the contributions computational science are making to our economic and scientific competitiveness.”

For 2008, the INCITE program provides the only opportunity for researchers to request allocations on the Leadership Class Cray supercomputers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the IBM Blue Gene supercomputer at Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois. Other available computers are the Cray XT4 supercomputer at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California, and the Hewlett-Packard massively parallel system at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington.

In 2007, 45 projects were awarded a total of 95 million processor-hours of computing time. Processor-hours refer to how time is allocated on a supercomputer. A project receiving one million hours could run on 2,000 processors for 500 hours, or about 21 days. Running a one-million-hour project on a single-processor desktop computer would take more than 114 years.

Information on the 2008 Call for Proposals.

Fact sheets describing 2007 INCITE projects.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the nation and ensures U.S. world leadership across a broad range of scientific disciplines. Additional information about the Office of Science.

Media contact(s):
Jeff Sherwood, 202/586-5806