AMD gets $32 million from US DoE to study exascale computing

Posted on Thursday, Nov 20 2014 @ 15:23 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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Chip designer AMD announced it's been awarded two grants worth over $32 million by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The awards are part of the DoE's "FastForward 2" Extreme-Scale Computing Research and Development Program and are to be used to research exascale applications for AMD's APUs. This marks the third time AMD has received cash from the DoE, previous grants focused on interconnect architectures and massive processing nodes.
AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced that for the third straight year it was awarded research grants for development of critical technologies needed for extreme-scale computing in conjunction with projects associated with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Extreme-Scale Computing Research and Development Program, known as “FastForward 2.” The two DOE awards, totaling more than $32 million, will fund research focused on exascale applications for AMD Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) based on the open-standard Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA), as well as future memory systems to power a generation of exascale supercomputers capable of delivering 30-60 times more performance than today’s fastest supercomputers.

FastForward 2 is a jointly-funded collaboration between DOE Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) focused on initiating partnerships with multiple companies to accelerate the research and development of critical technologies needed to enable exascale computing. Specifically, the FastForward 2 research grants awarded to AMD are for:

  • Node Architecture: AMD will conduct research for an integrated exascale node architecture based on its HSA-enabled APUs. Particular areas of research include power efficiency, reliability, programmability, component and network interface integration, APU microarchitecture, advanced memory architectures and efficient data movement.
  • Memory Technology: AMD will collaborate with the DOE and others to help define a new standard for memory interfaces that meets the needs of future-generation memory devices, including non-volatile memory and processing-in-memory (PIM) architectures.

    “We’re honored to be selected once again by DOE to aid research efforts for exascale-computing,” said Alan Lee, AMD’s corporate vice president for Research and Advanced Development. “Our customers have long looked to AMD to develop innovative compute, graphics, and memory technologies and products that solve real-world problems. This research is focused on energy-efficient node architectures and memory systems to improve the capability of the world’s fastest supercomputers.”

    The DOE strategic plan seeks to address the nation’s most pressing scientific challenges by advancing simulation-based scientific discovery made possible by the world’s highest performing exascale supercomputers. The technologies developed as part of this initiative could positively impact low-power embedded, cloud/datacenter and mid-range high-performance computing applications for diverse fields ranging from medical science to astrophysics and climate modeling. FastForward 2 investments will result in an increase in DOE’s ability to leverage commercial developments for future systems.

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    Thomas De Maesschalck

    Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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