Exascale supercomputer hardware is easy – it’s the software that’s holding us back

By Joel Hruska on December 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm

The Sandia National Laboratories have launched a new program meant to speed development of an exascale-capable operating system. The project, dubbed XPRESS (eXacale Programming Environment and System Software) will receive $2.3 million per year for the next three years from the Department of Energy. We’ve previously covered DoE and DARPA initiatives to bring exascale computing to market, and discussed the formidable challenges hardware engineers must overcome to make such efforts a reality.

The software issues are every bit as problematic. The project’s director, Ron Brightwell, notes that the operating systems and message-passing programs currently used on modern supercomputers are 15-20 years old and were written in an era when individual nodes with hundreds of processors weren’t even on the drawing board. XPRESS, he states, “aims to provide a system software foundation designed to maximize the performance and scalability of future large-scale parallel computers.”

Read more: Exascale supercomputer hardware is easy – it’s the software that’s holding us back | ExtremeTech.

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