Five companies get high performance computer interconnect contracts

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The US Department of Energy's Office of Science and the US National Nuclear Security Administration have awarded in research and development contracts worth $25.4million to five companies in order to accelerate the development of next generation supercomputers.

Under the DesignForward initiative, AMD, Cray, IBM, Intel Federal and NVIDIA will work on the design and evaluation of interconnect architectures for future advanced high performance computing architectures. The interconnects will be needed to link many thousands of processors. The companies will be expected to develop interconnects that are energy efficient, have high bandwidth and which minimise the time to move data among processors. Within the project, Intel will focus on interconnect architectures and implementation approaches, Cray on open network protocol standards, AMD on interconnect architectures and associated execution models, IBM on energy efficient interconnect architectures and messaging models and NVIDIA on interconnect architectures for massively threaded processors. Sudip Dosanjh, director of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said: "We need to collaborate with computer companies to ensure that future supercomputers meet DOE's mission needs in science, energy and national security. Berkeley Lab is pleased to place these contracts on behalf of DOE and its laboratories."