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Supercomputers: Extreme Computing at the National Labs

September 4, 2013 - 1:08pm

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Sometimes big science requires big resources. Over the next month, we'll be highlighting one of those big resources -- supercomputers -- on energy.gov.

The Energy Department's National Labs have incredible computational resources, including 32 of the 500 fastest supercomputers in the world. Several of these computers operate at the petascale, or in excess of one quadrillion floating point operations per second. The supercomputers at the National Labs are used to explore everything from the effects of global climate change to astrophysics and quantum mechanics.

The supercomputing facilities at the National Labs enable science of scale -- that is, they provide resources for tackling complex science and engineering challenges that require massive calculations or involve the modeling of very large data sets. Many of the Department's supercomputing resources are devoted only to the highest impact, breakthrough research.

High-performance computing is becoming even more important as scientists begin using advanced modeling and simulation to study complex, dynamic processes like those involved in the Earth's climate or that are present in biological systems.

A number of the supercomputers at the National Labs also serve as designated user facilities -- scientific facilities that are available for the use of private sector companies or researchers from academia.

This month, we'll be introducing you to the Department's supercomputers -- from Oak Ridge National Lab's Titan to Lawrence Livermore National Lab's Sequoia. Along the way, we'll share some stories about how the Department's supercomputers are transforming scientific innovation and about the long history of advanced computing systems at the National Labs.

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