PathForward

PathForward seeks to prepare the US industry for exascale system procurements and to generally improve US competitiveness in the worldwide computing market. Evidenced by CORAL2 offerings, PathForward is successfully influencing US HPC vendors to maintain focus on designing and building far more powerful and balanced computers for DOE simulation workloads.

Description:  PathForward is the follow-on to FastForward and DesignForward and seeks to prepare the US industry for exascale system procurements and to generally improve US competitiveness in the worldwide computing market. An open PathForward RFP (Request for Proposals) 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 do the following.

  • Substantially improve the competitiveness of the HPC exascale system proposals, where application performance figures of merit will be the most important criteria.
  • Improve responders’ confidence in the value and feasibility of aggressive advanced technology options such that they were willing to submit proposals for the HPC exascale system acquisitions.
  • 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 (AMD), Cray Inc. (Cray), Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), International Business Machines (IBM), Intel Corp. (Intel), and NVIDIA Corp. (NVIDIA).

The PathForward program continues into 2020, providing for completion of critical early hardware R&D activities related to likely exascale systems

 

Lead: Bronis de Supinski, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory